HOLLYWOOD—Halloween is fast-approaching America and for many Americans, the idea of watching a great horror flick or something scary is front and center. With that being said, there are many flicks from the 80s that completely defined horror for many millennials and those after us. If you were born in the late 70s or in the 80s you are familiar with three horror icons: Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees. These are the horror villains that I grew up with, and I have fond memories of being petrified of each in their own fashion.
If I were to be honest Michael Myers would be the scariest because John Carpenter’s 1978 classic “Halloween” changed the horror genre as we know it. Not to mention the fact that that franchise reignited with the 2018 remake/sequel starring scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis. Two sequels are already in the works, with the 2020 “Halloween Kills” filming as we speak. As for Jason and Freddy, no buzz on any upcoming sequels or remakes, but there is buzz we could be getting a new “Friday the 13th” movie soon.
Jason is iconic because of that hockey mask that became a staple for the character and the franchise when it was first introduced in “Friday the 13th Part 3D” in 1982. Yes, the third installment in the Camp Crystal Lake mayhem was filmed in 3D when it was first released. Jason was a character who became known for his brutal kills and using almost anything he can get his hands on as a weapon. The thing about the “Friday the 13th” movies, with a total of 12 movies to date, is the fact that they are so bad, they are good. They are a form of camp as we call it in the world of film criticism.
Me trying to explain what camp is could take days, but it’s a movie that is geared to a specific audience and follows a distinct formula. You know what you’re getting watching a movie involving Jason Voorhees, and now that I reflect back, I wonder why I was so scared of these movies. Um, because I was a kid watching it America!
This is the only franchise where I find it nearly impossible to rebirth it; it has been battered to the ground so badly I don’t know it you can revitalize it beyond doing ANOTHER remake that just takes the character and narrative in such a new direction its unlike anything fans of the past or newbies of the future will learn about. Now, let’s talk about the 1984 classic, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” which in my opinion is the cleverest and scariest of all the villains. Why? What Wes Craven did with this script and this character, God bless the late great director, writer and producer who also helmed the “Scream” movies which were fantastic.
I mean a character that can stalk and kill you in your dreams, its pure genius. What makes Freddy so scary is that everyone dreams so no one is immune to being targeted. The first flick is absolutely terrifying. However, subsequent sequels turned the character into a comic which diminished the fear of the character. I will note that “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors” is one of my favorites. The return of Heather Lagenkamp and Patricia Arquette was sensational. I also love “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.”
I indulged in a “Halloween” movie-thon that was airing on AMC this week as Fear Fest kicked off. Yes, it’s nearly 3 weeks of horror movies all day long on the network. This week fans will be able to indulge in a marathon of all the “Friday the 13th” movies, almost all of them. For those looking to be scared in your dreams, Syfy will be displaying a number of the “Nightmare on Elm Street” flicks this coming weekend. The only thing about some network stations is the fact that a number of the flicks are heavily edited because of the violence and language. So it’s like watching a horror movie without all the horror. What’s the fun in that?