WARNING: This Article May Contain Spoilers
I’ll be honest, it’s really hard to find films that are specifically set on New Year’s Eve. So, I switched up my plan for this article a little bit – and decided to focus on parties as a whole because you know, who doesn’t love ringing in the New Year with a party? Even a killer or two like to show their face…
This film definitely follows your typical 80s college slasher film, revenge for a prank gone wrong. However, what’s great is that it isn’t set in the usual place but I actually think it’s a better setting. With a college campus, the victims still have the opportunity to get away. They never seem to try but that’s by-the-by. On a train however, there is no escape. It also seems that New Year’s Eve, like Halloween, gives the murderer the perfect ever-changing disguise. This isn’t the first time that Jamie Lee Curtis has watched everyone around her get killed but I have to admit this is one of those times that she deserves to be a victim. OK, she doesn’t know the extent of the prank that’s going to take place but she still gets involved.
However, this is one of those many films where the villain doesn’t prevail and the Scream Queen is the hero once again…..or is she?
Bus Party to Hell
I’ll honest, the party element of this film doesn’t last very long – especially as at about 20 minutes in the passengers on the party bus start to get massacred. Actually in a weird way, the antagonists start to have their own ‘party’ when the killings start. In my opinion, it turns a little bit The Hills Have Eyes meets Mad Max (and yes, I thought of that before the two films are actually referenced). I’m not going to pretend that this film isn’t cheesy. I went into it eyes open and fully expecting cheese (it was on the Horror Channel, that slightly explains a lot). However, it’s not as bad as I was expecting – if you can look past the one liners and obvious fake snake. Be warned, it does get a little weird towards the end…
The Slumber Party Massacre
OK so the first couple of murders take place before the slumber party actually begins but in my defence – you have to start somewhere, right? If I’m completely honest, the title slightly overhypes the film. You have to wait until about 20 minutes from the end for the ‘massacre’ to actually start. I put it like this because I anticipated something a lot more intense than what was actually presented and I’m sure the word, in the film sense, usually implies that everyone but the killer dies. Truthfully, my biggest annoyance with this film is the fact that we see the killer’s face a little too soon. In some of the best slasher films we never see the killer’s face (I’m talking about Halloween and Friday 13th) but we see this guy’s face after the first murder. Come on, a little suspense is all I’m asking for. For me, the moment Jackie opens the door – THAT should be the first time we see what the killer looks like.
I know this is silly, but you can’t talk horror without at least one terribly made film. Especially one about a killer party prop. Now, when I said terribly made – I mean it! When I found the trailer for this film, a few of the comments criticised the way the piñata was animated, but in my opinion that was the only good thing about the whole film. The acting is terrible and there seemed to be this insistence on everything being sexualised in some way – what normal person sees a piñata and thinks ‘I really want to dry hump that’? I want to know what the director was thinking when they decided to have the piñata giving the ‘final boy’ head before biting off his penis and ultimately killing him. Truthfully, for once there’s no way I can say that this is a good idea but it could have been done better – because the story is so ridiculous to the point that the reason for the revenge is confused.
This one is a little different from the others. Instead of being set directly at a party, the party is the catalyst for everything that follows. If the real clown actually showed up to Jack’s birthday party, in all honesty, we wouldn’t have a film. This is probably going to sound really gross but one of my favourite things about this film is that almost everything Kent, Jack’s father and our antagonist, coughs up, as well as his blood, becomes rainbow coloured. It’s a little silly but a great addition to what is ultimately quite a disturbing film. What I mean is, a lot of films now – in my opinion – shy away from the deaths of children. With this film you can’t do that because, truthfully, who else would a clown kill? In truth, it feels like the director took quite a bit of inspiration from Stephen King for this film – if you know what I mean.
OK, so they aren’t directly at a party but they’re on their way to one. Practically arrived if you really think about it as the group are in the lift (I know, it’s an American film but I’m British and that’s what we’d call it) heading to the party. Truthfully, this film makes me pretty angry. If it wasn’t for the spoilt little brat, there’s a chance Martin may not have died. Then again, more people might have if she didn’t press the stop button but no one really knows. I realise this possibly sounds a little confusing but I’m trying not to give away too much of the plot as this film is genuinely worth a watch.