END OF SUMMER SMACKDOWN: THE FINAL DESTINATION vs HALLOWEEN II

It’s a rarity nowadays when two relatively big movies open on the same weekend, and that’s mainly due to the fact that the movie studios are run by pussies. Actually they’re just trying to be smart and make as much money as possible by avoiding competition, but “pussy” is a much better word.

It’s even more rare to see two horror movies opening head-to-head;  surely when it first became known that Halloween II and The Final Destination would be opening against each other, some figured one of them would flinch and change their release date. But it didn’t happen! And so despite the fact that neither movie will be getting my business the weekend of August 28th (I’ll be assaulting Mickey and cutting lines in Disneyworld), I’m legitimately curious to see which one will win the weekend.

So let’s look at our contestants, shall we?

THE FINAL DESTINATION

FD4-teaser-poster

Estimated pros:

  • It’s in 3-D (in select theatres). This means we’ll get the usual ridiculously gory and outlandish deaths that the Final Destination series is known for, only we’ll have shit flying in our face…supposedly.
  • David R. Ellis is directing it. He directed Final Destination 2 – the Godfather Part II of horror movies (okay that’s a stretch but STAY WITH ME PEOPLE). He also directed Snakes On A Plane – clearly this man can do no wrong. FD2 towers over the first and third movies (who were directed by some other guy) in sheer ridiculousness and hilarity.
  • More inventive deaths…hopefully. We don’t watch these movies for the magnificent acting.
  • Maybe Tony Todd will be in it again, somehow. He appeared in parts 1 and 2, and it was also his voice you heard in part 3 during the roller coaster and subway scenes.  It’d be great if he was in it, as it would give the sonuvabitch a break from the direct-to-video racks and bargain bins of your local video store Blockbuster.

Estimated cons:

  • It’s in 3-D (in select theatres). This means that a good portion of this movie was probably structured with the 3-D effects in mind, leaving a movie that will probably be too gimicky. This also means that the non-3-D version will still have things flying at the camera on a regular basis, which just looks…what’s the word I’m looking for…oh yeah, fucking dumb. See Friday the 13th Part 3 or My Bloody Valentine for details.
  • The trailer looks pretty shitty. In all fairness, trailers for these kind of movies aren’t exactly good outlets for blood & guts. Still, the trailer looks pretty shitty.
  • The stupid title. Where do they get their balls big enough to call this THE Final Destination anyway? Of course there’s gonna be a fifth one, even if it’s a Sci-Fi – whoops I mean, Sy-Fy Channel Original Movie, starring Stephen Baldwin.

HALLOWEEN II

halloween-2-poster-art

Estimated pros (this required some thought):

  • It might be better than Rob Zombie’s first Halloween. At least he had the freedom to make his own movie this time, without being obligated to remake key scenes from Carpenter’s original.
  • The Devil’s Rejects was much better than House of 1000 Corpses. Judging from that platform, this one might not suck.
  • More Brad Dourif (supposedly). Brad Dourif is the cat’s pajamas. Brad Dourif is the fucking man. Poor guy was in the first one for maybe five minutes total. Here, he seems to have a much bigger role.
  • Less Malcolm McDowell (supposedly). The guy may be a good actor, but he (and Zombie) somehow made Loomis seem like a dick and worse, unimportant to the story.
  • Violence and gore.  Of course that goes against everything Carpenter stood for when he made the original, but Rob Zombie already demonstrated that he handles suspense and atmosphere about as well as Michael J. Fox handles a game of Operation. He’s a maestro when it comes to unsettling violence, however, so we’ll take what we can get.

Estimated cons:

  • Saying this might be better than Rob Zombie’s first Halloween is like saying a case of the Clap is better than AIDS.
  • Rob Zombie always seems to know what he’s talking about, but doesn’t. The man had me going when he first took on Halloween, and pledged that he’ll make Michael Myers scary again, and he wouldn’t be doing it unless he had something fresh and original to add to it, and that Carpenter’s original has always been one of his favorite movies, and blah blah blah. Apparently his way of making Myers “scary” was to cast a hulking former wrestler to play him (shivers!), and his “fresh and original” idea meant that Michael Myers would now be the product of a dysfunctional redneck family (hot dang!). For all his horror movie knowledge, the guy doesn’t seem to grasp one of the most important things: the less we see and know about the killer/monster/whatever, the scarier it tends to be.
  • Rob Zombie wrote this, like he did the last one, and who are we kidding – giving the guy even more creative freedom to make a movie is like giving Limp Bizkit freedom to make another album.

So there you have it folks. It looks to be a close one, but if  I had to guess the winner, I’d probably go with Halloween II – it’s a bigger franchise and a more familiar name, and Halloween fans are a loony bunch who will still show up in droves…even if it’s to see Rob Zombie run their beloved series even further into the ground. I speak from experience.

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