Gags frequently do not age well. For a 1948 comedy, “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” holds up. The jokes hit, the sets are terrific, and Chaney and Lugosi reprise their iconic roles. There is also a clever cameo at the end. This one may be a future purchase.
“The House of the Devil” is a meticulous homage to 1970s horror films, expertly blending the haunted house and satanic cult sub-genres. Director Ti West’s film is a slow burn punctuated by bursts of violence. While I found this approach to be very effective, viewers will either be enthralled or bored to tears. With spot-on casting and a great soundtrack featuring The Fixx, Thomas Dolby, and The Greg Kihn Band, “The House of the Devil” is easy to recommend.
“All Cheerleaders Die” is an odd horror hodgepodge. The film attempts to blend cheerleading, high school drama, revenge, witchcraft, the undead, and gender politics, but is never wholly successful. While writer-directors Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson introduce several intriguing ideas, they cannot overcome glaring pacing and tonal problems.
McKee and Sivertson seem interested in challenging genre conventions and the objectification of women, but regardless of their intentions, they present a muddled message. “All Cheerleaders Die” contains some dark, biting humor, but the film is unable to become more than an entertaining mess due to its clumsy script.