The Prowler (1981) directed by Joseph Zito
I got a handful of slasher suggestions from the Going to Pieces documentary, including The Prowler. It seems like I've missed seeing a few of the semi-classics from that era. This one fits the slasher formula to an absolute T. You've got a masked killer, teens partying and being killed for their immorality, the slasher jumps up after seemingly dying, the virginal girl kills the slasher for good and there's an extra jump-scare at the very end. Actually, I'm confident the producers looked at the success of the previous year's Friday the 13th and said to the writer: "copy that." It's pretty much a rip-off of that movie with the names and locations changed. It also bears a lot of similarity to My Bloody Valentine, which came out the same year. Heh, someone should make a "Slasher Family" tree (like people have been doing for game controllers lately) and trace out how the elements of slasher movies evolved. Anyway, it's by no means a classic horror movie, but it's fun little slasher picture. (7/10)
No Man's Land: The Rise of Reeker (2008) directed by Dave Payne
If you've seen the original, there's really no reason to watch this sequel. It's pretty much exactly the same story with the same twist. The only thing extra you're getting is the backstory of the Reeker. Which, you know, I'm not sure we really needed. And this one lacks the original's Michael Ironside, so there's another strike. There are some neat bits in the show. The jerky way the Reeker moves about is cool-looking. The guys who looses half his head and still walks around was neat for the brief amount of time we got to see it. Eh, watch this one or the original, but not both. (6/10)
Saw V (2008) directed by David Hackl
I think we're scraping the bottom of the barrel, here. Just like in III, a good chunk of the story is a flashback detailing how Jigsaw's secret assistant helped him with the traps in all of the previous movies. We already did that with Amanda, so it just feels tiresome. How much more can be retconned into the previous movies? The seams are about to burst, I should think.
Beyond that, I don't think I like Hoffman (or Jigsaw Jr., as I think of him). He's got this arrogant, smarminess about him that I hate. Unlike with the coldly logical Jigsaw, I don't find myself secretly rooting for Hoffman. And, what's his motivation? Why would he continue Jigsaw's work after Jigsaw's death? Unlike Amanda, we never really see him grateful for Jigsaw's lesson or caring about Jigsaw as he died. It just seems like Hoffman was the filmmakers' only idea for continuing the series after stupidly killing everyone in III.
And, maybe I missed something, but it seems like the people caught in the traps have nothing to do with the rest of the movie. That's a first, as always before the people in the traps had some kind of connection to Jigsaw or the police pursuing him. That gives us less of a reason to care about the people trapped. They have nothing to do with anything, so who cares which ones die?
I did enjoy the trap Strahm found himself in. Classic. We generally don't get to see the walls close in all the way in movie, as it's usually the hero trapped inside who inevitably finds a release switch.
I hear VI is supposed to be a return to form. I hope so, as I'm starting get tired of these movies. (5/10)