Halloween is here. Or at least, in a few days. And just think, on Monday all the candy at the drugstores will be half-price! So while you’re killing time waiting for Sunday, there’s a bunch of movies playing you might want to check out. Scary ones – the kind designed to creep you out and maybe even prompt a swift exit from the theaters (and I’m not talking about Jackass 3D). Rather, the film expected to make the most money this weekend – taking the box office prize away from Paranormal Activity 2, the other genuinely frightening flick – is Saw 3D. Now this film is in 3D because they just couldn’t get audiences _____ened enough with the traps in 1-D, right? Because nothing says gruesome like adding a few dimensions. I’m told that the first Saw was actually very clever, even sort of “fun” but they’ve become progressively more gory. Oh well, it’ll do splendid business regardless. All the other movies opening this weekend are in limited release – it’s as though nobody wanted to dive in wholeheartedly with their movie when they’re up against a) the reigning king of scary movie franchises, and b) Halloween itself. A few are however, worth mentioning. First we have Welcome To The Rileys which is an art film shot on a tiny budget with the exception of one thing – its super-stellar cast of James Gandolfini, Melissa Leo and Bella herself, Kristen Stewart. This looks very good indeed and in addition to its “indy credibility” there’s also talk about awards for Stewart, who plays a runaway em, pole dancer in New Orleans. Also in limited release but worth catching if you can is a film called Monsters. Here we have an American journalist who must cross the border to Mexico, into a quarantine zone where any number of gigantic space aliens have been residing for six years. This was a film festival fave (they’re likening it to District 9) and if I had to guess I’d say it will become sort of an underground cult-y hit. Also out there, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest. If this doesn’t sound familiar it’s the third in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy – which we know is being made into a movie in the good old US of A right now – but which had already been made in Sweden. Evidently this Swedish version is gripping and not a little brutal. So there are this weekend’s big films, or at least the ones who stand any chance of being watched when people aren’t throwing eggs at mailboxes or demanding individually-wrapped candy bars. When I was in my trick or treating prime, the absolute Fort Knox of candy in our neighborhood happened to be the Lady of Heavenly Rest Convent a few streets over. Everyone knew they had the ultimate stash – and plenty of it; more chocolate than we’d ever seen and more Razzles, SweetTarts & Turkish Taffy than could be imagined. But there was something else, too, that made us quite nervous. It was a tough call for many trick or treaters who were apprehensive about approaching the convent. Not because they were nuns, mind you, but for an even more frightening reason: they required a trick for the treat. It was impossible to get one’s hands on any of their delicious goods without performing a routine of some kind, the prospect of which instilled fear in the hearts of many youngsters who were expecting a free lunch. And despite being a super-awkward kid, finally there was something I could do to help out. See, I’d been born double-jointed and could bring my clasped hands up over my head and down to my back. The nuns who were not actually horrified by my display of physical agility ran immediately to fill our goodie bags with their precious loot. It worked out nicely. I don’t do it so much anymore, and I’ve managed to kick the trick or treating habit altogether. But I will definitely see Welcome to the Rileys, and stock up on the half-price good stuff Monday. Have a safe and fun Halloween!
1) Jackass 3D
3) Paranormal Activity 2
4) Saw 3D
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