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Avoiding the Horrible

by: Robb Rhone

Hi Kids! Halloween is right around the corner and if you’re like me, you wanna watch some spooky movies, right? Of course you do! Trouble is, there’s a little thing called horror film franchises, and what starts off as an original and terrific idea becomes really, really, really dreadful. Have no fear! I have done all the work for you. Let me tell you which films in a series to watch and which to avoid. They all have one thing in common: a kickass female lead to show whatever baddie that tough chicks rule!

Laurie Strode vs. Michael Myers

The premise: average American girl Laurie just wants to babysit the kids while avoiding a bloodbath with the boogy man. Sounds simple and stupid, no? It’s not, child! Oh no. “Halloween” (1978), directed by the genius that is, John Carpenter, is considered a masterpiece by many and is credited with spawning the slasher flick genre.

Jamie Lee basically plays this one with a “what the eff is going on” look on her face the whole time, which is exactly how I’d respond as well. “Halloween 2” (1981) takes place right where the first one left off- it’s still the same night. Clever.  La Curtis continues to fight but now with an “I am so effing exhausted” look on her mug. This time you learn why the boogy man, the terrifying Michael Myers is really after our young heroine.

Now skip, run and jump all the way to “Halloween H2O: 20 Years Later” (1998). Avoid all the other films that don’t have Laurie in them. They contradict and confuse the original storyline. Jamie’s face in H2O reads “I am so effing sick of you and your butcher knife, Michael”. A victim too long, she’s pissed and somebody’s gonna get it. Whatever you do, avoid the next dreadful film, “Halloween Resurrection (2002). It’s true, Jamie Lee is in the first few minutes but trust me when I tell you that it ruins the film that it follows and is a huge letdown. I won’t wreck it for you, but it’s almost if Ms. Curtis took a call from the producers and said ”Write me a huge check and make the script so that you can never phone me to play this part again”. Boo, indeed.

 Nancy Thompson vs. Freddy Kruger

You’ll want to watch Wes Craven’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984) because super cutie Johnny Depp as Glen, makes his film debut. That’s fine indeedy, but it’s his character’s girlfriend, the sad and sleepy Nancy, as played by Heather Langenkamp, that’s the star of the show. These poor kids are haunted in their dreams by super meanie Freddy Kruger (played by Robert Englund). If he murders you in your nightmares then you die for real! (Pass the coffee)

Now that you’ve got a killer caffeine buzz, pop in “A Nightmare on Elm street 3: Dream Warriors” (1987), where sad, sleepy and selfless Nancy tries to help the young residents of a psychiatric ward. Want more on Freddy’s beginnings? It’s all here too. You’ll be sorry you asked. Yuck! To complete your Netflix nightmare evening, watch “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare” (1994). Freddy has never been freakier or more frightening than in this one and Heather doesn’t play Nancy, she plays herself (?) That’s all you’re getting outta me! More coffee?

Sidney Prescott vs. Ghostface

The scariest part of the “Scream” franchise is that people absolutely hate very pretty Sidney Prescott’s guts and often try to carve them out of her. Portrayed by the also very pretty,  Neve Campbell, Sidney’s life is one that you would not want.

In every film, Ghostface is different people all somehow related and aware of each other. The films are clever who-dun-its. Have fun trying to figure out who the killer is each time out. Scooby Doo was never so bloody. With this series, “Scream” (1996), “Scream 2” (1997), “Scream 3” (2000), and the very under rated “Scream 4” (2011), you’re golden! The same creative minds were behind all four so there’s none of those pesky plot holes to deal with. Plus, they’re all, in varying degrees, frightening and smart. Two qualities that horror films today are lacking. And did I mention that Neve as Sidney is very pretty in all four?


So, there you have it. Follow my advice and you won’t waste any time with the wrong sort of homicidal maniacs during the upcoming festive season. Cross my heart and hope to DIE! Muah-haa-hah!

See you in the funny papers,