If ever there were a weekend to be grateful for the entertainment value of costumed children demanding desserts, this is it. A ghoulish crop of openings awaits your movie-going dollar this Halloween.
The Story: Napoleon Dynamite auteur Jared Hess returns with another quirky loser tale. A home-schooled nerds dreams of becoming a fantasy fiction writer go terribly awry.
The Pitch: The Life Aquatic meets Freaks and Geeks
How This Happened: After a rocky post-Dynamite road for Hess, it seemed time to put him back on his home turn and hope lightning can strike twice.
Who It's For: Hoodie Nation's truly committed dead-enders.
Cause for Hope: Despite his iconic Quirkster status, Flight of the Conchord's Jermaine Clement, who has a major role, is always interesting to watch.
Cause for Concern: Judging by the trailer alone, it looks as though Hess read everything that annoyed people about Dynamite and said, "You thought that was annoying?! Try THIS on for size!" The quirky level evidenced here makes Dynamite look like Samuel Beckett.
Defamer Enthusio-Meter: 3
THIS IS IT
The Story: Michael Jackson died. But before he did, someone shot footage of him rehearsing a concert.
The Pitch: Captain EO meets The Last Waltz
How This Happened: There was still money to be wrung from this circus.
Who It's For: There are those who love Jackson's music and dancing and they will no doubt be happy to see more of it.
Cause for Hope: The train must stop here.
Cause for Concern: There surely is a vault full of outtakes that could keep the world in fresh Michael Jackson for decades to come.
Defamer Enthusio-Meter: 5
THE BOONDOCK SAINTS 2: ALL SAINTS DAY
The Story: The fabulous brothers MacManus whom the world remembers and loves from the first film, return to Boston to wreck vengeance and kill lots of people.
The Pitch: Snatch meets The Departed
How This Happened: Guy Ritchie somehow got too expensive; someone in Hollywood figured the devil you know is better than the devil you don't so there might as well be another Boondock Saints movie.
Who It's For: Those who just want to see someone get shot and don't care who it is.
Cause for Hope: Seems to provide at least one scene for some fabulous over-acting by Judd Nelson, portraying a character brilliantly named Concezio Yakavetta.
Cause for Concern: The soundtrack will likely be too loud to allow one to get a proper nap.
Defamer Enthusio-Meter: 2
HOUSE OF THE DEVIL
The Story: A babysitter must spend the night of a lunar eclipse alone in a really scary house.
The Pitch: When a Stranger Calls meets The Uninvited
How This Happened: Director Ti West seems to have a veritable lock on getting horror films set up.
Who It's For: Halloween thrill-seekers.
Cause for Hope: Looks to be an actually intelligent re-creation of old horror film genres, rather than the mindless gloss and bludgeon variety we've been given of late.
Cause for Concern: Slightly campy Satanist haunted house films aren't for everyone.
Defamer Enthusio-Meter: 7