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Halloween / Dia de muertos 2021 Day 1: Amulet (2020), Trick or Treat (1986) and Bad Hair (2020)

Can't believe a year has passed so soon. But here we are and it's time for the yearly tradition where I hold my horror movie marathon. I have to say that it was real hard to pick titles this year. For the most of them I went in blind but seems like that was a mistake. In any case a happy belated Happy Halloween and Feliz Dia de Muertos.

Amulet (2020)

The Amulet for the most part did a good job of instilling some tension and dread but ultimately fails to make a real impact because of it's own pretension. 

I caught on pretty quick of what was going on but what bothers me is that the film leaves a lot of things open to interpretation while it is very obvious how you are supposed to feel. And to be honest I don't like to be manipulated that way. If you want to make a statement then do so by giving me more details and let me decide on my own what is good and evil. The twist isn't as nearly as clever as director Romola Garai makes it out to be. The supernatural elements themselves make no sense. It's there and you will have to accept them as fact. Well, there is a lot wrong with these elements as there is not even build a myth around it. Garai couldn't be bothered. She might think it's not relevant because of her statement but I can assure her it's what most horror fans tune in for. It's shallow and lazy and something that will detract from the viewing experience. 

Had she really wanted to make an impact and make people think she had to give us a deeper characterization of Tomaz. Real bummer this one!

Trick or Treat (1986)

While I really dug what Trick or Treat was trying to do it suffers from one huge problem.

It's not scary. The premise is pretty wild and had a lot of potential to be real scary or at least thrilling. But for some reason there is almost no tension and suspense. Maybe it was more meant as a comedy but if that were the case, where were the jokes? Sure there are some funny moments but not nearly enough for this to be classified as a comedy. The film also features Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne as the names to represent hard rock made in the Eighties. But they are barely in it. Even for cameos their roles are too brief. Tony Fields as Sammu Curr is pretty good as the antagonist. I mean at least he is trying to be menacing. But he is let down by the child friendly approach to the violence and terror. 

Still, I can't say I wasn't entertained. It is a very Eighties film which automatically is a plus for me. And it was nice to see Mark Price (known as Skippy in Family Ties) as the lead.

Bad Hair (2020)

Bad Hair is pretty entertaining but like Trick or Treat fails to be scary because it's intended as a satire.

Of course I can appreciate the social commentary and the criticism of current society. But Bad Hair had a real potential to be scary. Naturally nothing can beat Asian women with long hair. I mean they don't even have to try to be creepy and scary. They just are. In this film they get close but not enough. Main character Anna Bludso played by Elle Loraine is a likable character who is in a bad place and gets a new start in life when she receives a weave in extension. Suddenly she is being noticed and seems to get the position she always wanted. But like with everything in life it comes with a cost. In this case a pretty gruesome one since her hair seems to be alive and needs to be fed blood. On top of things it also alters her personality. Obviously these parts are the most fun. I do think they could and should have done more scarier. More suspense and darker atmosphere would have made this creepier. Now it's very cartoonesque. 

Although there are some moments where you feel for Anna. She has suffered a huge trauma in her childhood when her cousin tried to straighten her hair. Every time someone touches her hair and head it feels like she is being tortured. I had no idea but apparently getting and having weave ins is painful. To me that would be a good reason not to get one. I think the film should have focused on this a little more. Why does she feel traumatized? Should you even care what other people think about the way you look?

I was surprised how many big names were featured in this production. Especially a lot of artists for yesteryear who were huge once made an appearance. Like Kelly Rowan, Vanessa Williams and MC Lyte. There are more and they do help elevate this production in a big way. I only wished the horror elements were bigger and more prominent. In the end that is what is the most enjoyable.

Overall, a decent viewing experience but I do hope my second day of viewing will offer better horror goodness.

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