2007 Halloween films

Yes folks, the time is nearly upon us when the film companies attempt to lure the hard-earned money from our wallets on the promise of providing blood, guts and painfully obvious jumps. Sadly, this year seems another where endless sequels or remakes of 70s classics are making up the majority of the ‘new’ releases; here’s a sample of the delights:

First up, well, it looks like nothing is sacred these days. Rob Zombie, whose career so far has consisted of the woeful House of 1000 Corpses, and the even worse Devil’s Rejects, this time has a stab at remaking John Carpenter’s all-time classic Halloween. Expect none of the subtlety, subtext or genuine creepiness of the original. Apparently Carpenter has given the project his blessing, but he lost the plot a long time ago too. Let’s hope White Zombie reform soon and get RZ back to what he knows how to do.

Next up, a rather guily pleasure of mine; the Resident Evil series of films, loosely based on the premise of a series of superb video games, has maybe not delivered anything particularly memorable, but my love of zombies and seeing Milla Jovovich running around looking constantly perturbed seems to entertain me more than it has any right to. This time around it’s Resident Evil: Extinction, the third installment in the franchise, and this time is set in the Nevada desert. It’s probably not going to be a classic by any means, but you will probably leave the cinema feeling you’ve got your money’s worth of gore. Then again, I spy Paul W.S. “not Thomas” Anderson on the credit list, which means it may well be teeth-grindingly tedious…

And then we come to The Invasion, which has the dubious distinction of being a re-make of a re-make, and even that ignores Abel Ferrara’s own underrated 1993 remake, entitled Body Snatchers. This version stars Nicole “I act only in moody looks” Kidman and Daniel “filling time between Bond films” Craig, also to co-star in the upcoming series of Philip Pullman adaptations. It appears to have had a rather chequered production history, with reshoots and rewrites flying around all over the place, leading to the fairly safe assumption that it will be a complete mess and not at all scary at all. Shame for DC, who you feel needs a few solid vehicles to shake that “oh, he’s that bloke who was in Our Friends in the North once and now is James Bond” tag, and establish himself as a worthy character actor. Nicole Kidman? Well, a few more duff films like this and maybe everyone will start seeing just how overrated she really is..

And just when you thought a horror franchise had run out of ideas, they’ve made Saw 4, undoubtedly with even nastier ways of making people mutilate themselves for self-preservation. The first Saw film was genuinely entertaining, though it ran out of steam towards the end, but since then its been an exercise in cynical franchise-weaving, with plot and ingenuity seemingly playing second fiddle. Piss-poor stuff really, and no doubt we will be seeing the likes of Saw 20: The Beginning (again) pop up sometime around 2025. Joy.

Finally, one film that’s taken its time to come over here is Black Sheep, an extremely odd-looking New Zealand made film which features, well, zombie sheep attacking helpless passers-by. Could be genius, may well be bloody awful, but i guess full-marks for the idea. I’m now going to go off and check my dictionary for the word ‘Sheepsploitation’…

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