Halloween Double Feature Review

 

 

Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell) is alive and well in an East Texas nursing home. His African American friend, John F. Kennedy (Ossie Davis), is a fellow resident. Both men believe that an Egyptian mummy is haunting their community, sucking the souls out of those too feeble to escape.

What a tired, cliche plot. I mean, who hasn’t heard of that one?

Campbell has made a career out of mixing horror and comedy with films like “Army of Darkness” and “Evil Dead.” Here, he does it again, while pulling off a pretty good Elvis impersonation. Davis is fun to watch on screen, especially when he’s trying to convince Elvis that he really is JFK. The two work well together and make the film an enjoyable experience.

As for the horror element, the evil Egyptian mummy is both menacing and a little campy. He has the face of a ghoul and wears the cowboy attire you’d find at the local rodeo. Just the kind of villain you’d like to see in a Bruce Campbell flick.

If you can’t handle some of the harder scary movies these days, watch a couple of geezers hunt down a mummy in this funny little monster film.

Grade: B

“Paranormal Activity 3” (2011)

Little kids and their imaginary friends. Growing up, I never had one. Now I’m especially glad I didn’t.

“Paranormal Activity 3” takes us back to the beginning of the series to see how this cursed family first got involved with the paranormal. The women from the first two films are now young girls and we see similar events to 1 and 2 that they conveniently forgot about 20 years later.

It’s hard to imagine a franchise like this one having the longevity to sustain multiple sequels, but this third installment was better than I expected going in.

Of course, the paranormal antics have become a little tiring at this point. The audience requires more than a couple of phantom sounds and moving lamps. Fortunately, the filmmakers decided to upgrade the scares a good bit. WIthout spoiling too much, the “ghost sheet” and “kitchen furniture” scenes were great additions.

The thing is, there are only so many times we can watch the partiarch of a family investigate strange noises in the house by setting up cameras (How can they afford so many cameras all the time?). If this third film was the final chapter, I could leave the coincidences at that, but a fourth film has finallly pushed me past the believable stage.

The last 15 minutes of the film were probably the most interesting to me of the entire series. Finally some answers. But just when I thought it was going to make more sense, the writers shook my head like an Etch-a-Sketch and the “explanation” feels hollow and unexplored. If this had been handled better, I would have enjoyed this installment a lot more.

Still, “Paranormal Activity 3” is a decent horror flick by today’s standards and fits well with its counterparts.

Just please kill this franchise before it gets too embarrassing.

…..Too late. “Paranormal Activity 4” already came out.

Grade: B-

 

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