But my choice of double feature made this Independence Day a disappointing Halloween…that was slightly saved by some double feature daddy bear action.
THE HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT 2 (2017)
The Blu-ray of the first film, which I blind bought when it was released, has been sitting in my discard pile, its removal dependent on me seeing if the sequel would somehow create a story arc that made the first worth keeping. Now, after watching Houses October Built 2 on Hulu, I’m ditching the first and won’t be buying the sequel.
100 minutes? TOO LONG. And that’s just for starters. I really don’t even remember (or care) how the first film ended, but I guess they all survived? Most importantly, daddy bear survived.
In this one they’re back and decide to go on a tour of attractions again, only this time for money because everyone is fascinated that they escaped the horrors the first film.
So you basically spend another entire movie watching footage of haunted attractions in action…a “Thriller” flash mob…a zombie run montage set to techno music.
That’s not a horror movie, that’s a documentary about haunted attractions.
Eventually, the one character that didn’t want to go in the first place experiences a trauma so close to what happened the year before that…you can’t believe that person is convinced by the others to forge ahead. Okay, maybe I can believe daddy bear’s mere presence is persuading enough.
Immediately after the mistake to continue is made, the real horror begins.
Sure the doll girl makes an obligatory appearance, but the twist at the end will make you realize just how bamboozled you were in watching this “horror movie.”
On a side note, the best part is when they visit an extreme adult attraction. There’s drag, there’s some sexual perversion, plus I imagine the creators discovered that the bearded bear cutie has a gay following.
He gets some special attention as the adult attraction…
…and the camera even gives us a nice long look at his bear butt when he’s walking up steps.
JACK vs. LANTERNS (2017)
Director Jason Liquori (Death Plots, The Lunar Pack) brings us a sequel to his movie called Lumber vs. Jack that, despite the clever plays-on-words in the titles, I won’t be watching having seen this one, which runs way too long at an hour and forty-five minutes.
I was purely in it for the Halloween, and there’s plenty of that. Loads of pumpkin action, and Jason drenches scenes in Argento’s rainbow.
Plus, mutant pumpkins start taking over people’s heads and making them pumpkin-headed killers.
However, there’s also so much other extraneous stuff going on I didn’t bother following most of it. Some woman has her dead husband reanimated or cloned or something.
I imagine the killer pumpkins and the reanimation are related, but the shifts from one subplot to another were extremely jarring. It feels like two different movies.
Sure there are some goofy, funny moments, but I just didn’t have the patience to focus on anything beyond the genuine horror feel of some of the pumpkin head scenes.
The awesome main girl being chased through her house by a pumpkin head even feels like it’s from a much better movie.
In fact, I think there is a pretty fun, low budget indie supernatural killer pumpkin head slasher film here if all the other stuff was cut out and this was a 70-minute film. Hell, there’s even a dog next to a pumpkin, which instantly makes it a better movie to me.
Instead, Jack vs. Lanterns starts to revel in its cheap, cheesy effects and silliness—seriously, the pumpkins are like papier-mâché and there’s a dance montage—and then exploits them as if to say, “We did all this on purpose.”
Hell, perhaps they did considering this is a sequel to what appears to be the continuing exploits of the main character: JACK.
Jack is the other highlight.
Jack is a cute bear daddy who takes on the pumpkin heads…and happens to be director Jason Liquori himself!
I find him adorable and charming, which means I’ll probably end up watching Lumber vs. Jack. I’m such a fricking horror whore. Now, can I get a taste of that warm toast…with butter?