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Critics Recommend Movies For Halloween Season

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October 23, 2018 1:37 p.m.



Beth Accomando, KPBS Cinema Junkie host

Yazdi Pithavala, Moviewallas film reviewer

Related Story: Critics Recommend Movies For Halloween Season


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh.

It's music that just makes you want to hide in a closet. John Carpenter's iconic score for a Halloween can still send chills down your spine. Hey PBS film critic Beth Komando and movie walas podcast her Jasdeep the Vala sat down with PBS Jade Hyneman to talk about the new Halloween movie and other films. Perfect for the month of October.

Bethan Yazdi thanks for joining us today.

The original Halloween movie that came out 40 years ago and defined the modern slasher film. There are nearly a dozen films in the franchise and a new one just opened over the weekend. Here's a taste.

Michael Myers is a human being who killed his sister when he was 6 years old and he came up to you. We just want to know why you want a glimpse inside his mind. Michael Meyers murdered five people.

And he's a human being. We need to understand and transfer him tomorrow 7:00.

He'll be locked away until the end of days. That's the idea.

Where does this one fit in in the franchise in terms of story and quality. Well it's interesting that they decided to kind of negate everything that has come after the first Halloween. And we are supposed to believe that there's been nothing in between the 1978 John Carpenter Halloween and this one. So it's 40 years in real time and 40 years in the cinematic time as well. OK. I'm calling this the force awakens film of the Halloween franchise because with Star Wars we had so many bad films and with Halloween there's been so many bad films that to get one that just doesn't suck and that you can actually say you enjoyed. Such a relief. So I enjoyed this one. I thought there was some cleverness to it a little slow to start but it was great to see Jamie Lee Curtis kind of get a little meatier role and it really was fun to watch. All right. Yes. Would you think so disclaimer upfront.

I don't like car. Well shame on you. I know. Shame on me because I value sleep. I really believe that's really scary. OK. So coming coming from that perspective I'm very happy to report this is not a scary movie it's a thriller. It's a proper slasher. You know there's a lot of bull jump out moments and I think the movie is very efficient in being that thriller about these two very iconic characters from the last 40 years. I just hope that the film wasn't dwelling so much on amping up the slasher elements I think it really kind of overboard with that. But maybe that's what the fans expect. There were good kills in this film.

I don't know you guys thought this elderly man take out a whole town nearly 40 years later.

You know I'm a senior citizen now. I'm happy to see you. You're a citizen slasher.

Yes. You know Halloween is an obvious choice for watching this time of year. But let's talk about some of the other films that are fun to watch in October. If you had to pick your favorite film what would it be.

Oh well for an oldie I would go with black Sunday with Barbara Steele getting the Iron Maiden pressed into her face but for something more recent. Which is fabulous. It's all full of dread and the director describes it as a Puritan nightmare. The. To be. Sure. The.

Watch that alone in the dark late at night and you should get goosebumps. He asked you what do you think.

I tend to lean more towards the more suspenseful supernatural stuff. And my recommendation is and all the the others with Nicole Kidman which came out about 10 years or so ago sometimes of the day it. Gets mixed up. Again a film which takes its time to build and it's got one of the best reviews I think in this category of movies just a good sturdy solid well written scripted well acted movie I think. And then to others I would recommend of course is the sixth sense which amazingly hasn't aged at all it holds up very well and signs as well as two movies from Shamblin which do a really good job of capturing Dredd out of thin air. And for me it's the exorcist.

I'm proud of. Oh that's great. I haven't found a movie to top that one yet in my opinion. Ok so now I know Halloween.

It also conjures up such creatures of the night like vampires and werewolves. Beth do you have a favorite creature film. Well I think people need to go back and revisit the silent Nosferatu. Nobody is creepier than Mask's Shrek as Count Orlock. He just looks like he's genuinely a vampire and nothing overtime has changed the fact that this guy is creepy. And if you want a companion piece to that shadow of the vampire is a film about the making of Nosferatu. And then if you want a silly take on the vampire there's nothing better than what we do in the shadows which is a hilarious mockumentary about vampire life.

If you're going to eat a victim on my nice green couch put down some newspaper on the floor and some towels. It's not hard to do.

You don't put down towns vampires do all right now.

Yazi. I know you actually like zombie movies right. I do. I do. Yeah because they're slow.

Don't come at you very quickly.

Michael Myers Oh that's OK but one zombie movie I would recommend is actually warm bodies which is a movie which is part zombie and part rom com of all things and it's really kind of fun because it's well written. It's clever Hubbard blends the two together. You know it's the story of this human girl falling in love with this zombie.

Am I doing with my life. I just want to connect. Why can't I connect with.

All right. Because I'm dead. And you know there's even a Romeo and Juliet reference thrown in. How can you top that.

OK so that what about an unconventional horror movie for this time of year. What would you guys suggest.

I would offer up the old film of freak's which is genuinely disturbing on many levels credibly well-made. It's a film that ruined the career of its director Tod Browning because he was considered so controversial and bizarre but it's set in a carnival and it uses actual carnival freaks. And it's it's an amazing film and I think both freaks and ostinato I think are both available free on YouTube. So easy to check out for all of which.

We didn't like the iPhone we told you. We had a living. Breathing rocket if. You. Like that. And yet. The accident that.

You might be as they are you know the thing I would recommend get out. So get out. Essentially about an African-American man who was invited to the hometown of his girlfriend who is Caucasian and he shows up at this town and he suddenly starts to realize that things are not what they might seem right or it just works at so many other level social commentary is about how we are living now about race relations there's so much to kind of break through and tease out.

Absolutely. Well back in yazi. Thanks so much for joining us. Be listening next week for BETH's Halloween edition of her cinema junkie podcast all about witches. We'll be casting spells.