Neve Campbell-less sequel has previous installment survivors Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) and her sister Sam (Melissa Barrera) leaving Woodsboro and heading to the Big Apple with fellow survivors Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown). A year after the last installment’s events and right in time for Halloween, bodies start falling again and a familiar voice begins making those fateful phone calls. Along with Gail Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere), who is now an FBI agent, they try to stop Ghostface one and for all.
Latest installment in this enduring slasher franchise is again directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett from a script by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick. This is a brutal and vicious installment and actually works very well without Sydney Prescott’s involvement. The torch seems to rest fine in the hands of Tara and Sam, as does the refreshing change to the streets and subways of New York City. Setting it on Halloween is also a plus as now there are masked figures, especially Ghostface masks, everywhere. The kills are intense and nasty and this, along with a more 80s portrayal of NYC, with grimy streets, crowded subways and dark alleys, gives the film an even gritter edge. It’s an improvement over the so-so 2022 requel and does freshen up the franchise a bit even if the final act reveals aren’t quite as jaw dropping as we’d hoped. The violence is well rendered as always and is very intense although one feels that the trope of our heroes getting the upper hand on Ghostface then running away before finishing him off is getting really tiresome…understandably the movie would only be about a half hour long then if they did. At least Olpin and Gillett do have some fun with series expectations and relax the tiresome meta nonsense for a more straightforward slasher.
The cast is good here. Cox and Panettiere work well with the newer cast members, Panettiere especially with slipping back into the role of Kirby after 12 years. Her character’s explanation of why she became an FBI agent makes sense. Melissa Barrera again makes for a very strong lead as Sam, now dealing with the effects of the previous year’s attack and the savage internet fallout which paints Sam as the real villain. Rising star Jenna Ortega (X, Wednesday) gets far more to do here and is already a veteran in parts like this. Jasmin Savoy Brown is again fun as horror movie fan Mindy and Mason Gooding (Booksmart) is solid as Chad. Newcomers include Dermot Mulroney as Det. Bailey, Liana Liberato as his daughter and Tara and Sam’s roommate Quinn and Jack Champion as Chad’s roommate Ethan.
Overall, Scream VI doesn’t reinvent the franchise wheel but does freshen it up a bit with a new location, focusing more on the newer cast members and having a little fun with the franchise template. It’s also gritter and nastier than the last flick and delivers some brutal and intense scenes. The reveal could have had a bit more impact, but all in all Scream VI rates as one of the better sequels and shows the franchise still has some life in it yet.
Netflix original series from Tim Burton finds a teenage Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) being sent to the Nevermore Academy by her parents (Luis Guzmán and Catherine Zeta-Jones) after getting near fatal revenge on a group of boys bullying her brother Pugsley (Isaac Ordonez). The academy is filled with supernatural misfits and while there, she is starting to show signs of her own psychic abilities while finding herself embroiled in a murder mystery to solve.
Series from executive producer and director Tim Burton is a fun eight-episode show featuring Addams Family classic character Wednesday as a Buffy/Sabrina type anti-heroine with special powers and working to solve a dark mystery. If you can appreciate the dry, droll humor and a delightfully morbid and twisted tone, then you should enjoy this series a lot. It follows Wednesday as the rebellious teen begins to develop psychic visions and discovers there is a killer afoot at the academy…and a mystery that goes back centuries and involves her own family bloodline. She also reluctantly makes some friends, definitely makes some enemies and even might find a little romance. None of the episodes feel like filler as Wednesday gathers clues and begins to find out about herself and her family history, both near past and distant. Jenna Ortega is simply perfect as a teenage Wednesday Addams and there are some colorful and engaging characters in support. The Addams Family members themselves don’t all fair as well as Guzmán and Zeta-Jones are sadly miscast as Gomez and Morticia. They just don’t work and have no chemistry together. Thankfully, aside from appearances by some familiar faces, it’s Ortega’s show and she takes the Goth ball and runs with it. A school dance sequences is a perfect example of just how well she nails the role. It’s a fun and spooky show to binge on a rainy afternoon and despite the before mentioned casting and some weak CGI, it’s otherwise an entertaining Sabrina-esque series giving a classic character a nice update and a wonderful actress to play her. Wednesday also features Christina Ricci as teacher Marilyn Thornhill, Fred Armisen, clearly having fun, as a visiting Uncle Fester, and GOT‘s Gwendoline Christie as the academy principal Larissa Weems. Currently streaming on Netflix!
“Wednesday’s Child Is Full of Woe” written by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar and directed by Tim Burton
“Woe Is the Loneliest Number” written by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar and directed by Tim Burton
“Friend or Woe” written by Kayla Alpert and directed by Tim Burton
“Woe What a Night” written by Kayla Alpert and directed by Tim Burton
“You Reap What You Woe” written by April Blair and directed by Gandja Monteiro
“Quid Pro Woe” written by April Blair and directed by Gandja Monteiro
“If You Don’t Woe Me by Now” written by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar and Matt Lambert and directed by James Marshall
“A Murder of Woes” written by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar and directed by James Marshall
MONSTERZERO NJ’S FINAL GIRL/BAD GIRL OF THE YEAR 2022!
It’s Halloween🎃!…and as it has become tradition, it’s time to announce MonsterZero NJ’s Final Girl of the Year!…an actress that has not only captured our hearts, but gotten our attention with a strong performance, in the traditional role of horror final girl!…
…and this year, our Final Girl of the Year 2022 is also our bad girl of the year too!…
So, without further ado, our winner for 2022 is…
Mia Goth plays both final girl and villain with an amazing dual performance in Ti West’s X and again as Pearl in its prequel Pearl!
This year was an easy choice as Goth was simply amazing in not one but two roles, in not one but two films! As the tough porn star wannabe Maxine, and the demented product of broken dreams Pearl, she was outstanding. A third film is on the way from Ti West centering on Maxine, and we can’t wait to see it!
MONSTERZERO NJ’S HARDEST WORKING ACTRESS IN HORROR!…
Photo credit: Celebmafia
This latest installment of Halloween Hotties features an up-and-coming Latina actress who has become a familiar and beloved face to the horror community! Jenna Ortega has been acting since she was ten years-old and over the last decade has made quite an impression with her versatile performances. Lately she has been appearing in quite a few horror-centric projects and we couldn’t be happier! 2022 has proven to be her most prolific year yet with no less than five horror themed roles! Her banner year of horror started with Scream (2022), then The Foo Fighters’ horror/comedy Studio 666, along with Ti West’s hit indie horror flick X. She also appeared in American Carnage and will be playing the title character in Tim Burton’s upcoming Addams Family spin-off series Wednesday, streaming on Netflix starting November 23rd! WOW, Jenna!
(Click on the highlighted links to read reviews of the films covered here that Jenna Ortega has appeared in)
Jenna Ortega shows no sign of slowing down with new projects already in various phases of production, including next year’s Scream 6! With four horror films and one spooky series in 2022 alone, it does make this talented young lady the hardest working actress in horror!
Native American actress Amber Midthunder made quite an impression as Comanche warrior Naru in Prey!
MONSTERZERO NJ’S 15 REASONS WOMEN OF COLOR ARE GOING TO ROCK YOUR HALLOWEEN!
Horror films have always been a step ahead with having diversity in their casts and women of color have played important roles for decades! To celebrate their contribution to our favorite genre, here are 15 reasons women of color are going to rock your Halloween🎃!
Versatile and talented Latina actress Jenna Ortega in Ti West’s’s chilling X!
These talented ladies aren’t the only ones and women of color are now also getting a chance to add their voices behind the cameras, with writer/directors like Nia DaCosta (Candyman) and Gigi Saul Guerrero (Mexico Barbaro) making a name for themselves and opening doors. All the more reason that women of color are going to rock your Halloween🎃!
“WEDNESDAY, an upcoming Netflix series from the imagination of Tim Burton. WEDNESDAY — starring Jenna Ortega in the title role, alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones, Luis Guzman, Gwendoline Christie, Christina Ricci and more — is a sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery charting Wednesday Addams’ years as a student at Nevermore Academy. Snap snap.“
Comedy/horror finds the children of an undocumented immigrant family taken into custody and forced to work at a retirement home after their parents are deported. It’s the only way J.P. (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) and his sister Lily (Yumarie Morales) will be allowed to stay in the country. Being this is a horror, there is something very sinister going on at this particular rest home.
Directed by Diego Havillis from his script with Julio Havillis, this is an awful movie. Movies with a message are more than welcome but Havillis bludgeons you over the head with his commentary about undocumented immigrants, and how they are treated, so hard that you become numb to it very quickly. This is the opposite effect a filmmaker should want when trying to say something. These messages are also delivered with no wit or finesse and grow tiresome rather than become thought-provoking, as such relevant and contemporary issues should be. Add to that that this is a tedious and dumb horror with Lendeborg being a dull and lifeless leading man, and you have a 98-minute movie that is a slow-moving chore to sit through. Even Jenna Ortega (Scream 2022, X), who brings some feisty energy to her Camila, can’t give this sinking ship any buoyancy. It’s a shame, had the film focused on Ortega and made the messages a part of the story, instead of clumsy narrative-stopping exposition, this might have been a little more fun and given us something to think about on top of it. Instead, it’s a tedious bore that not only dulls the effect of its meaningful commentary but wastes the charismatic Ortegaand isn’t even a good horror movie either. No wonder Lionsgate dumped this quietly into release despite Ortega‘s current star-power. Also stars Brett Cullen as a racist governor.
Flick is currently available on VOD and in limited theatrical release.
From the official Lionsgate Youtube page synopsis…
“After a governor issues an executive order to arrest the children of undocumented immigrants, the newly detained youth are offered an opportunity to have their charges dropped by volunteering to provide care to the elderly. Once inside the eldercare facility, the volunteers discover the governor and the facility’s supervisor have cooked up a horrifyingly depraved conspiracy that endangers the young and the old in this twisted thriller-comedy.”
Horror comedy with a message is directed by Diego Hallivis from his script with Julio Hallivis and stars current queen of horror Jenna Ortega, Allen Maldonado, Jorge Lendeborg Jr. and Bret Cullen. Flick is currently in limited theatrical release and VOD.
Good things came from Amazon yesterday! Two of my favorite movies arrived on Blu-ray. X is simply my favorite horror so far this year and a film I find gets better with repeat viewings. The Batman which has many horror film elements and even starts out on Halloween night!