Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

Trick ‘r Treat
Director: Michael Dougherty
Writer: Michael Dougherty
Cast: Dylan Baker, Rochelle Aytes, Quinn Lord, Lauren Lee Smith, Moneca Delain, Tahmoh Penikett, Brett Kelly, Britt McKillip, Samm Todd, Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Leslie Bibb
Seen on: 26.12.2021

Content Note: fatmisia, (critical treatment of) ableism

Plot:
Halloween is a night where the usual rules don’t apply. When Emma (Leslie Bibb) blows out the jack-o’-lantern before midnight, her husband Henry (Tahmoh Penikett) is worried about the consequences. High school director Steven (Dylan Baker) also thinks its important to stick to Halloween rules, and he will do his share to see them obeyed. Rhonda (Samm Todd) loves traditional Halloween costumes, but that’s not the only reason why she doesn’t fit in with other kids her age who prefer more modern costumes. Those kids have come up with a plan to use Rhonda’s love for Halloween. Laurie (Anna Paquin) doesn’t quite fit in with her sister Danielle (Lauren Lee Smith) and friends either. Where the other women are eager to flirt and fuck, Laurie is still a virgin. But maybe that will change tonight. Mr Kreeg (Brian Cox) would rather forget that its Halloween altogether, but that won’t happen as Halloween keeps coming to him.

Trick ‘r Treat is a fun little Halloween flick. Not all of its episodes worked equally well for me, but it’s a neat celebration of Halloween that will especially appeal to people who like Halloween a lot in general. For me (as a European, maybe), Halloween is not that important, so the film is maybe not as exciting for me, but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

The film poster showing a child-sized figure with an orange onesie wearing a burlap sack over its head. Or maybe the sack is its head.
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Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Director: Michael Dougherty
Writer: Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields
Sequel to: Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island
Cast: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe, Ziyi Zhang, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, Aisha Hinds, O’Shea Jackson Jr., David Strathairn, Anthony Ramos, Elizabeth Faith Ludlow
Seen on: 4.6.2019

Plot:
Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) is a scientist working on a bio-acoustics device that is supposed to communicate and calm creatures like Godzilla. She has been testing it on a moth larva in China and it seems to work pretty well. Her research doesn’t go unnoticed, and so Emma finds herself and her daughter Maddie (Millie Bobby Brown) taken, and her device used to wake all giant creatures instead of calming them.

Just to be very clear: kaiju films are not my thing and I didn’t particularly enjoy the first Godzilla, nor Kong. But I agreed to see this one for my friend and for Vera Farmiga. But it didn’t come as a surprise to me that I didn’t actually like this one either (my friend, who generally likes kaijus did, though, so it probably is a good kaiju movie anyway).

The film poster showing Godzilla, a shaft of light coming from its screaming mouth. Its surrounded by helicopters and ships.
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Krampus (2015)

Krampus
Director: Michael Dougherty
Writer: Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields, Todd Casey
Cast: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison TolmanConchata Ferrell, Emjay Anthony, Stefania LaVie Owen, Krista Stadler
Seen on: 18.12.2015

Plot:
The Engel family are preparing for Christmas which mostly means hating the stress and fearing the time they have to spend together with the extended family. Only Omi (Krista Stadler) – Austrian for granny – and Max (Emjay Anthony) really seem to like Christmas and be in the mood for it. But when the family fighting and the tension becomes too much for Max, he decides to take it out on Christmas itself and unwittingly summons Krampus, Santa’s evil helper who punishes all those who aren’t in the Christmas spirit.

When the first trailers for Krampus – an originally Austrian myth – dropped, puzzledpeaces’ reaction was that she now knew what cultural appropriation feels like (personally I’d say that the Sound of Music is the first major instance of USAmerican appropriation of Austrian culture but that’s neither here nor there). I can say that Krampus the film has literally nothing to do with Krampus as we know him here in Austria*. But that doesn’t make the film any less entertaining, quite to the contrary.

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Re-Watch: X2 (2003)

X2
Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: David Hayter, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris
Based on: The Marvel Comics series
Sequel to: X-Men
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Anna Paquin, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Bruce Davison, Shawn Ashmore, Aaron Stanford, Kelly Hu

Plot:
The Mutant Registration Act is still a very distinct possibility and threatens the mutants’ existence. And then a new mutant – Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming) – attempts to kill the president and almost succeeds, adding further fuel to the debate. The retired Colonel Stryker (Brian Cox) is leading among the people against mutants and uses the assassination attempt as an excuse to attack Professor X’s (Patrick Stewart) school with knowledge he gained from drugging Magneto (Ian McKellen).

X2 is the rare case where the sequel is actually better than the first film (even though the first film wasn’t bad). It’s enjoyable as hell.

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