Pop Culture Princess

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Some meta movie treats for your Happy Death Day party

There are times when I'm happy to be wrong about something and the success of Happy Death Day is one of them. This seemingly all-gimmick and gore horror movie(strategically released on Friday the 13) ruled the box office over the past weekend, cutting off the Blade Runner sequel at the knees there.

Granted, Blade Runner 2049 was having box office troubles before Happy Death Day hit the multiplexes but it's take dropped down severely, due in part to this quirky little slasher film that got a great deal of good word of mouth.

Having a PG-13 rating(which lessened the violence somewhat) was a huge bonus as well,plus the fact that character development and a sense of humor were added into the mix. The plot is easily summed up as "Groundhog's Day meets a slasher movie" and from what I have heard, Groundhog's Day is referenced in the film, giving an extra meta flavor to the fearsome fun.

So, if you have seen HDD and want a bit more of that sassy scary style or haven't but still wanting to get into that gruesome groove, I have a trio of rentable recommendations that should fit the bill for a Halloween viewing party rather nicely:

THE FINAL GIRLS: Taissa Farmiga plays Max, who decides to honor her deceased scream queen mom's memory by attending a midnight showing of Camp Bloodbath, her mother's only claim to fame, with her friends.

During the screening, a fire breaks out and Max finds herself trapped within the cult classic slasher movie along with her buddies. To escape the cinematic death trap, they decide to stick with the "final girl" of the plot but she happens to be one of the first to die. That leaves Max to not only step up to the plate to save the day but to also try and save the movie version of her mother.

This movie is funny and scary, with a good amount of movie mockery that doesn't detract from Max's emotional journey. Like Happy Death Day, TFG is a PG-13, which limits the traditional slasher movie blood and guts action yet it has plenty of entertainment value on hand to make up for that. If you love old school horror with some heart, this is your golden bucket of popcorn to enjoy:

TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL: Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine play the title backwoods men who a group of college students on vacation take for murderous menaces right from the start.

Turns out the guys are good natured bumblers who become convinced that it's the vacationers who are the real threat. This set of misunderstandings gets quite a body count, as there happens to be a real killer in their midst who is willing to do them all in.

The rating here is R but the tone is more dark humor than slice and dice, with a nice touch of romance tossed in. T&DVE has won some film festival awards(along with a couple of Fangoria Chainsaw honors) and it's a shame that it didn't get a good theatrical release. Nevertheless, it's a giggleworthy goreshow gem to watch on home video:

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS: This movie is rather well known to most horror fans but just in case you haven't seen it, my synopsis will be moderate here.

The story starts off with your typical five pack of young folk(including Chris Hemsworth) out for a weekend getaway at the title remote location and a chain of horrifying events is set off as their stay progresses. However, this scary movie situation is being monitored and manipulated by outside forces for an unknown purpose that could affect the world.

While there's plenty of humor and horror to go around, the main pleasure of this movie is that it credits the viewer for being smart as well as worthy of a good original story, something that Hollywood needs to do in more than one genre. Whether you're re-watching or seeing it for the first time, The Cabin in the Woods is fine meta fare that packs a punch:

Of course, a good go-to here is Scream, the now modern classic in meta movie mania. I have to say that it does hold up pretty up as do a couple of the sequels(avoid Scream 3 at all costs!) and if you're looking for the original scary sauce in this genre side dish, it will more than satisfy that horror movie hunger. At the very least, Scream offers a good review in Fear Film 101 which should make your Happy Death Day cravings chilling calm indeed:

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