A sequel, a horror and a mystery: three films to see this Halloween

With Halloween being only 11 days away, the cinemas are stacked with horror films.

Whatever your taste this spooky season here are three new films for many differing tastes.

Spoilers ahead – you have been warned.

A Haunting in Venice:

A Haunting in Venice 2023. All images ©Disney. (Image taken from Disney)

When first watching the trailer for this film I expected a generic horror film and to my surprise it was more of a thriller with a side of jump-scares than a regular horror.

The film follows retired detective Hercule Poirot, who is brought out of retirement after writer Ariadne Oliver tempts him to join her at a séance.

Once there characters begin one by one to slowly be killed and Poirot suddenly is un-retired in his quest to not be defeated by a murder case.

I will admit, I am terrible at figuring out who the murderer is in these type of films but I was kept guessing until the end and the reveal was definitely a shock.

Rated a 12A it is more family friendly than most horrors and overall is a decent watch.

Rating: 6.5/10.


The Exorcist: Believer

Ellen Burstyn and Leslie Odom Jr. in The Exorcist: Believer (2023). Universal Studios. Photo by Anne Marie Fox/Universal Picture (Image captured from IMDb)

With a run time of an hour and 51 minutes, after the first 90 I was left disappointed.

The first three quarters of this film was a very generic, paint by numbers exorcism film.

The film opens with two girls, Angela and Katherine, becoming possessed after Angela tries to contact her mother who died in childbirth.

Following this the typical possession traits are out in full force – demonic voices, attacks and foul language – I didn’t see what could save this generic revamp of a classic.

Unsurprisingly, the first prayers don’t work and they have to find other means to save the children – and to be fair if the first prayers did work it would be a waste of a film and very anticlimactic.

Also it was nice to see the return of the neck twist but this time killing the priest who it seemed would save the day.

And then the ending.

From nowhere the film gained a new lease of life, the demon forcing the parents to chose between which child to save and when Katherine’s dad blurts out his own daughter, the devil played a trick and killed her.

Now again, I will emphasise I am bad at figuring out these surprise twists.

But for me this was a hugely different and exciting ending to save an on the whole average film.

Rating: 5.5/10


The Nun 2:

Anna Popplewell, Katelyn Rose Downey, Taissa Farmiga, and Storm Reid in The Nun II (2023). Photo by Courtesy of Warner Bros. – © Warner Bros. (Image captured from IMDb)

What a strange film, the definition of hit and miss.

On many occasions the film had great moments of tension before the jump-scares but as I have watched many horror films I did see them all coming, maybe for a more casual fan this would be scary, but I could appreciate the tension.

The story follows on from the first film as Irene once again has to stop the Nun sweeping havoc across Europe killing religious figures.

Maurice, now working in a boarding school, is possessed after saving Irene in the first film, is controlled by the Nun who is using him to find an ancient relic.

An interesting plot but at points has things that I just found funny.

Surely if the Nun is so powerful, with extra added power after obtaining the relic, she could kill at least one person – it seems this is finally the time the Nun would win and she is then defeated by one prayer and some wine.

Very strange.

Furthermore, the devil comes into the school in the form of a goat.

This is not scary, arguably hilarious watching a goat charge around a boarding school.

Yet, after a slow start, because the ending was so fast paced and crazy, I will admit I was entertained.

I do think though, the Nun came back after being beaten, got the relic to make her more powerful, and still didn’t win – what a shocking villain.

Rating: 5.5/10

Featured image: Photo by Gemma Evans from Unsplash.


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