Film Club: Halloween Edition – Round 2

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to round two of the first ever Inside Pulse Film Club! This month we’re taking a look at some of the best horror films around, with one film being crowned the ‘scream of the crop’ (see what I did there?) and the title of ‘the’ film that can’t be missed come Halloween night.

The first round was long and intense, but from that, the strong have survived and lived to fight another day. Without further ado, let’s get things going here in round two, and we’ll start things off with two films that completely differ in their approaches to horror and storytelling, yet at the same time, both became instant classics in their own right. Let’s head to the judges table…

Robert Saucedo “Let’s see here: Trick ‘r Treat is a fresh new horror anthology that at once pays tribute to both EC Comics and the work of Quentin Tarantino. It’s clever, fun and has a great visual style. Meanwhile, Saw is a piece of dog [crap]. I think I’m going to have to go with Trick ‘r Treat with this one.”

You sound unsure Rob, why don’t you take a minute to weigh the pros and cons of both films that you stated above and let us know when you’re ready. You’re good? Alrighty then!

Branden Chowen – “Saw. Why? As fun a movie Trick’r Treat was, it cannot compete with Saw, which is the closest thing modern day audiences have to franchises like Halloween or Friday the 13th. With the final sequel coming out this Halloween season (of course, it is being released in 3D), Saw will go down as the most successful horror movie franchise of the new millennium. As I said for round one, even when looking at the first movie of the series only – Saw – nothing has ever come close to topping the shocking ending of that film, and it will forever be one of the best twist endings in horror. Trick’r Treat, though a fine movie itself, just doesn’t stand on the same ground as Saw.”

Well that’s quite a compelling argument for Jigsaw; so much so that I’m going to ask you to cough twice if you’ve been abducted.

Josh Begley “Trick’r Treat. This wins over Saw any day of the week. It’s fun, it’s spooky, and it’s surprising, whereas Saw relies on gore to make up for weak plot, characterization, and concept.”

Ouch, it seems like Josh and Rob are teaming up on Branden, which may be more unfair than usual, as he may or may not be kidnapped at this very moment. Will Jenny come to his aid?

Jenny Rushing Alme – “Saw – While Trick r Treat is awesome, I’m a loyal Saw follower. I look forward to the new installment every year and it’s one of the only movies that I make a point to see on opening weekend. I’m SO excited for Saw 3D. Personally I’m not a fan of 3D, but it’s a gimmick and one I feel works best with horror movies. (Suck it, Avatar!)”

Well, there aren’t many debates where you’ll hear someone voting between two horror movies and still somehow get a shot in at James Cameron’s Avatar, but there you have it!

Mike Noyes –
“Trick’r Treat. Close one, but Trick’r Treat was just too much fun.”

Short and sweet, and with that simple statement Jigsaw has lost this battle, and the horror anthology continues on!

Next up we have Bill Paxton going up against Satan, where his Hand of God powers will really be put to the test!

Jenny Rushing Alme –In the first round, I voted against The Exorcist; but when put against Frailty I have to choose it, simply because it’s a classic. Frailty is pretty badass though.”

Way to stay in Matthew McConaughey’s good books with that last statement Jenny. Just in case, eh? I bet he’s #3 on your list, and I’ll bet you it’s laminated!

Josh Begley – The Exorcist. It’s the classic. Superbly directed, acted, and plotted, this movie is the granddaddy of horror movies.”

Really? Hm, well that obviously opens up the question to who the grandmommy of horror movies is, but I suppose we’ll save that for another time!

Branden Chowen – “The Exorcist. Why? The fact that Frailty surpassed the best horror franchise of the 1980s is an easier pill to swallow than the matchup below because Bill Paxton is at his strongest – yes, even better than his performance in Predator 2 – and works excellently to bring out the best in the child actors in the film. Frailty is a creepy film, but that isn’t enough to surpass the universality present in The Exorcist. Wherever God exists, there is that fear of being possessed by the Devil. This is where The Exorcist comes in. Even better than just the Devil is the creepy little girl acting as the Devil. It’s a brilliant film that will forever scare those who view it, which is why it gets my vote over Frailty.”

Well who could argue that? Well, maybe none other than your Film Club nemesis Robert Saucedo!

Robert Saucedo“As much as I love Frailty, it lacks the epic scope and sheer horror to push it past The Exorcist, the godfather of all scary movies. Not even one of the best performances of Bill Paxton’s career can push away the memories of those scene’s in Regan’s bedroom with bloody crucifixes and pea soup.”

Good points, and I guess even Batman and The Joker have worked together on some level before, so this shouldn’t be surprising. And with that, the devil possesses Matthew McConaughey just long enough to make him put on a shirt.

Ghostface continues to defy the odds, taking a spoof on the genre, and spinning it into a franchise that will enter quadrilogy territory come April. The question is, what happens when Ghostface comes face to face with the scream king, Thomas Jane?

Robert Saucedo –The Mist easily takes the prize with this one. Scream is fun and entertaining but ultimately it’s fluff. The Mist is a powerful story that actually has something important to say in addition to being overwhelming dark and dreary.”

Josh Begley – The Mist. Like all great horror movies, the real evil lives in the human heart. Scream is great, but it’s almost too much a parody for its own good.”

Seems like the feeling between Josh and Rob is mutual, and that the traumatic serial killer infested dungeon that is Sidney Prescott’s life wasn’t evil enough for their likings. Ah, time to put the nem back in nemesis, as there’s no way Branden and Rob’s opinions can continue to co-exist.

Branden Chowen – “I’m still reeling from the fact that The Thing got knocked out of the first round by The Mist. Though The Mist is a great movie with some beautiful cinematography, I had The Thing winning this contest. Moving forward, I am going to jump on the underdog bandwagon and give the nod to The Mist. Scream is one of my personal favorite movies, and second only to the Back to the Future trilogy as the greatest trilogy ever. On a movie-to-movie basis, though, there is no denying that The Mist is the better flick. It has better acting, better writing, a more engaging story, and better cinematography. Since The Mist knocked out my #1 favorite to win it, I will be interested to see how far it can go in this contest.”

Well, I guess I was wrong, and it looks like with that, The Mist has completely–yes Jenny?

Jenny Rushing Alme – “Scream. Scream was the first horror movie I ever saw in a movie theater and it scared me like nothing else ever had. Actually, I think it was the first actual horror movie I ever saw. I had a sheltered childhood.”

I don’t know about everyone else, but one of the most interesting things that I’ll take away from this holiday edition of Film Club is just how much we’ve learned about the life and mindset of our very own Jenny Rushing Alme. From sheltered childhood, to dream dates with Freddy…one can only imagine what we’ll continue to learn in the coming months!

And in our final bout of round two, a match that some may feel would be worthy enough to find itself in the finals. But it didn’t, and these two behemoths will battle it out, right here, right now, through the opinions of our judges, until only one is able to move on to the next round.

Jenny Rushing Alme “Halloween. Friday the 13th the original, I think is pretty lame. There are some great kills, but it just bothers me that it’s Jason’s mom. Lame. Michael Myers is such a creepy character. If there was a Jason’s mom vs Michael Myers movie, Myers would win, no doubt about it.”
Something tells me I should be grateful I never went to school with you Jenny, for I fear that crossing paths with you on the playground may have turned into a traumatic moment in my life.”

Mike Noyes – “Halloween. This was the hardest one, these are both so good!”
At least this time you’re with the crowd, unlike the previous bout in the first round where you stood out worse than, well…someone who chose Texas Chainsaw Massacre over Scream!

Branden Chowen – “This is the juggernaut battle of the contest, and one that could have easily been the final round. Instead, this comes up in round two, and it will probably be the most difficult decision to make throughout the contest. Again, looking at the movies next to each other, and putting the sequels to sleep, there is a clear winner: Halloween. Friday the 13th’s pacing is too slow for its own good, and has not held up well over time. It’s a borderline boring film, to be frank, and cannot hold a candle to John Carpenter’s second greatest film. Halloween is able to hold a sense of fear from the beginning of the film to its credits, and the same can be said for the first viewing of that movie, or the 13th. Halloween is the originator, and Friday the 13th will forever be the imitator.”
All valid points, and it seems like the trend in choices will no doubt continue…

Robert Saucedo – “Jason Vorhees may be the more iconic character but John Carpenter’s Halloween is the more memorable movie. From the great score to the performance by Jaime Lee Curtis, Halloween helped define a genre — Friday the 13th just helped transform it into something easily consumable.”

Again, Michael Myers comes out on top, which leaves it up to Josh to decide the winner of this round. That’s right, all other votes will be cast aside if Josh votes the other way.

Josh Begley – “No contest here. Friday the 13th is fun, but it’s nowhere near as frightening or just plain well done as Halloween. Michael Myers still scares me.”

So you previously stated Josh. I find a nightlight does wonders…because, you know, at least then you’ll see the guy before the knife is shoved into your abdomen. Then again, you’d likely be asleep, so I guess it’d be more appropriate to say you’d awaken with a massive pain in your abdomen due to said knife, and because of the nightlight, you’d be able to identify the man you fear most as the one causing said pain. Sweet dreams!

Don’t go anywhere, as round three is right around the corner…

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