well whaddyaknow, all the time I spent searching for another good horror/slasher film wasn't wasted. I actually found one. I don't think I'll bother with the 3 sequels (or any upcoming remakes that might happen I don't know if there will be any). It amazes me that good horror films like this one do exist. why can't there be more films like this one? It isn't Oscar worthy but it doesn't melt my eyes with how bad it is either.
Acting/Characters: Finally! A film where not every single character is knife fodder. well, you can still kinda tell who is gonna die, but it isn't immediately obvious. The acting for this film wasn't too bad. i especially liked the main character. But, as with most horror films of this nature, my favorite character was the killer. I really liked what they did with the killer. Other horror films should take note. 8/10
Plot: Basically take Bloody Mary and replace it with Candyman. It isn't the most original plot ever in the area of the bare basics (although I dunno, this might have been the first film like this that deals with curses and bogeymen. I doubt it). However, most slasher films have an unoriginal plot and just leave it at that. This film actually tries to do original things with its plot. I always commend a film for that. It is so incredibly rare in this genre. I also really liked the ending as well. It surprised me a bit. I will admit that the plot had some predictable moments. Particularly with the rising action, but I feel that they didn't completely overshadow everything else and they were few and far between. 7.5/10
Screenplay: Like most horror films I feel that this was the weakest part of the film but that doesn't mean that it was Razzie worthy. it just needed a bit more fine tuning is all. certainly not the worst I have seen. Not the best either. It thankfully didn't have any cringe worthy lines in it. It could have very very very easily though. There were times when it traveled that fine line between mediocre and bad. But, it'll do. It didn't need Casablanca's screenplay but I felt that it needed a bit more tuning. 6/10
Likableness: I was very entertained by this one. It helped vindicate the horror genre for me. I have seen so many bad slasher films that they are starting to blur together but this one is one that I will remember as being one of the better ones. It isn't even close to the level of quality of say, Scream 1 and 2 or Black Christmas, but it is certainly one of the best horrors I have seen in a while. 7.5/10
Final Score: 29/40 72% (D)
TRIVIA TIME: 1. There is a Guy Fawkes mask hanging next to Helen's bathroom mirror. Fawkes is an infamous figure in English history (an influence from Clive Barker's original story perhaps), who attempted to blow up the English Parliament on November 5, 1605. Every year the British celebrate Guy Fawkes Day by lighting bonfires and burning Fawkes in effigy.
2. Virginia Madsen claims that she was hypnotized for some of the film's scenes.
3. "Sweets to the Sweet" which is written on the walls in two areas of Cabrini Green is actually a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet.
4. Virginia Madsen is allergic to bees, so an ambulance was always on set while filming the bee sequence. Also, Real bees were actually put into Tony Todd's mouth while they where shooting the climax. His only protection was a mouth guard that kept him from having the bees go down his throat. Also, The bees were breed specifically for this movie. They need to make sure that the bees were only 12 hours old so that they looked like mature bees, but at that point, the stinger isn't powerful enough to do any real damage.
5. The architecture flaw of the medicine chests and people being able to sneak in, is something that Bernard Rose discovered in his research for the film and there was actually a series of murders that were committed this way.
6. On the DVD commentary, Alan Poul said that had Virginia Madsen been unavailable, the part of Helen would have most likely gone to the then unknown Sandra Bullock.
7. Exterior, hallway and stairway scenes were actually filmed for a few days in the infamous Cabrini-Green housing projects, though the producers had to make a deal with the ruling gang members to put them in the movie as extras to ensure the cast and crew's safety during filming. Even with this arrangement, a sniper put a bullet through the production van on the last day of filming, though no one was injured.