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FILM GUIDE: Halloween season is here and so are the spooky films

Here are a few of our weekly spooky Halloween picks


Halloween kills

Civil unrest in the tragedy-scarred Illinois town of Haddonfield sparks violent scenes reminiscent of the January 2021 insurrection in Washington DC, in the second chapter of director David Gordon Green’s trilogy reboot of the Halloween franchise.

An angry mob chants “Evil dies tonight!” and defies pleas for calm from local law enforcement to hunt down Michael Myers, the hulking bogeyman who has stalked residents’ dreams for 40 years.

“It’s Halloween, everyone’s entitled to one good scare,” growls Leigh Brackett (Charles Cyphers), former sheriff of Haddonfield and now a security officer at Memorial Hospital, who lost his daughter Annie to the serial killer in 1978.

Alas, that promise of blood-curdling thrills doesn’t apply to us because Halloween Kills neither shocks nor surprises as Gordon Green reduces the population of Haddonfield (“a simple town where nothing exciting happens”) by close to 30 residents in 105 minutes.

Almost all principal characters from the 2018 iteration of Halloween end this gleefully gory middle instalment at the same point in their narrative journey as they begin the film.


The Last Duel

In the wintry final days of 1386, knight Jean de Carrouges (Damon) and squire Jacques Le Gris (Driver) fight side-by-side under the banner of King Charles VI (Alex Lawther) but it is the latter who curries favour with Count Pierre d’Alencon (Ben Affleck) and secures a captaincy destined for Jean.

To rub salt into fresh wounds, Jacques’ promotion includes land belonging to Sir Robert de Thibouville (Nathaniel Parker), which had been promised to Jean as part of the wedding dowry of his daughter Marguerite (Comer).

Jean bears the scars of losing a wife and child to the plague and he is under pressure from his waspish mother (Harriet Walter) to produce a male heir.

“I did not have this problem with my first wife,” Jean cruelly snaps at Marguerite after his efforts between the sheets fail to produce the desired results.

He canters off to war and returns to tearful Marguerite, who claims Jacques forced his way into their home and sexually assaulted her.


There’s Someone Inside Your House

Makani Young has moved from Hawaii to quiet, small-town Nebraska to live with her grandmother and finish high school, but as the countdown to graduation begins, her classmates are stalked by a killer intent on exposing their darkest secrets to the entire town, terrorizing victims while wearing a life-like mask of their own face.

With a mysterious past of her own, Makani and her friends must discover the killer's identity before they become victims themselves.


Venom: Let There Be Carnage 

Fresh from breaking post-pandemic box office records on the other side of the Atlantic, the special effects-laden Marvel Comics sequel directed by Andy Serkis and scripted by Kelly Marcel introduces a deadly new symbiote to Spider-Man’s web-slinging universe.

Investigative journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) shares his body with a carnivorous extra-terrestrial parasite called Venom, which gifts him incredible powers.

He visits serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrison) in secure confinement before a planned execution by lethal injection.

The inmate bites Eddie and part of Venom courses into the psychopath’s body, giving birth to the symbiote Carnage.


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