Though Donald Pleasance and Jamie Lee Curtis really make this movie for me, the fact that Michael Myers just won't die no matter how much you shoot, stab, and impale him is unsettling. I've got some bad guys in my own family. I'd like to think they'll die eventually. This guy just won't.
Maybe Gage creeped you out in this movie, but for me, it was the cat, Church, that did it for me. I love cats, but seeing Church all feral and possessed by demonic forces upset me more than the kid wandering out in front of a semi. I've never wanted to have kids, and my indifference to Gage's roadkill status just kind of proves that I made the right choice there. So the kid's a creature from Hell now. Eh. It's the poor mangy kitty-cat that still bothers me.
First off, you should know that I hate needles, things resembling needles, and witnessing anything that goes in to or under the skin. (Even splinters make me squeamish.) So it bothers me just to look at this guy. He does get major karma points, however, for being smugly amusing. My favorite Pinhead quote: "Do I look like someone who cares about what God thinks?" If I'm going to Hell, I fully expect Pinhead to be the guy waiting there.
Poor Norman Bates. He had so much potential. Shy in an endearing way, with the boyish good looks of Anthony Perkins (in the movie, anyway). If only he wasn't such a mama's boy. She really ruined his life . I guess it's true . . . we all go a little mad sometimes.
As I have previously mentioned, I am a cat person. But I was rooting for this giant, slobbering, slightly rabid Saint Bernard in this movie. Sure, he was terrifying, and he made me wet my pants a few times. But we, as the audience, were trapped inside that car with a shrill, screeching Danny Pintauro. His high-pitched wailing and sniveling made my ears bleed. I was with the dog—good Lord, I wanted that kid dead.
This movie, as a whole, was disappointing. However, Julian Beck as the creepy preacher is just terrifying. Beck was dying of stomach cancer when this movie was shot, and as a result, he looks gaunt and gruesome. After sleeping with the lights on for years after watching the first Poltergeist, I'd just gotten used to the dark again until I watched Kane hiss "You're all gonna die!" and fished out my nightlight again.
Jack Nicholson was amazingly scary as a man losing his grip on reality in the most horrible of ways in this movie. The haunted hotel, the creepy twins, the elevator full of blood . . . I had nightmares. But the scariest part of all was that this movie raised a terrible question: If you can't trust your dad, who can you trust? (Answer: Scatman Crothers.)
Though this is not my favorite eighties slasher series, I have a lot of respect for the villain, Jason Voorhees. Mostly because I've met Kane Hodder, the guy who plays him, several times, and he's a sweetheart. He's also really proud of the role he played in these movies, and even has a tattoo inside his lower lip that says "KILL." (Because the killer's theme music is "ki-ki-ki, ma-ma-ma," which, of course, is short for "Kill her, Mommy!") You've got to love a guy who embraces a character that much.
This movie was brilliant. Anthony Hopkins was amazing as Hannibal Lecter. Ted Levine was ubercreepy as Jame Gumb. I cite this book and movie all the time when I'm talking about how to make your audience uncomfortable—by making the villain appealing. (James Spader on The Blacklist is another excellent example of this. Ooh! Maybe television baddies are next! But I digress.) I could watch this movie over and over again—and have.
I LOVE Freddy Kreuger (and Robert Englund). I loved him when he was dark and sinister in the first A Nightmare on Elm Street, and I loved him as he cracked jokes while filleting teenagers in later installments. "Hey Dylan, ever played skin-the-cat?" Ha ha! That's comedic gold, my friends! Apparently, I'm willing to root for even a horribly burned, undead child murderer if he can make me laugh.