Adrenaline pumping movies to watch on Halloween

Check out these movie reviews with a special look at Dune and Halloween Kills


Graphic created by Hailey Cordell

Coming to Theaters: The Valhalla is creating a recurring column to showcase new movies coming in theaters and recommendations that students might enjoy. As Covid is calming down, movies are slowly resurrecting back to theaters, with October releases such as Dune (2021) and Halloween Kills (2021). “I’m so excited that movies are back in theaters,” sophomore Anjieli Fairbanks said.

Halloween Kills (2021) – A Lackluster Sequel

Directed by: David Gordon Green
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, James Jude Courtney, Andi Matichak
Rated R: Strong Language, Nudity, Graphic Violence
Rating: 3/5
Where to find: Theaters near you, Peacock,

Michael Myers has been a staple in horror ever since 1978 when John Carpenter, with a minuscule budget of $300,000, was able to rack in $70,000,000 at the box office and create a new horror icon that kickstarted the slasher genre. Ever since then, the Halloween movies have hit a rocky bottom with terrible sequels and bad box offices.

However in 2018, Danny McBride and David Gordon Green have brought Michael Myers back to the big screen with a fantastic return. With the movie retconning all the other movies besides the original, they have created the 4th timeline in the Halloween franchise.

With the 2018 movie getting great reviews and making $255 million dollars people were excited for the second installment in this trilogy. However, Halloween Kills has left fans divided with some of the decisions they made. One of the biggest problems people felt was how stupid the characters are. From them missing every shot with their guns to them bringing a clothing iron to kill Michael Myers.

Not only that, a lot of the suspense has been lost since the 2018 movie since Michael Myers isn’t seen stalking his victims, instead is straight-up defeating whole groups of firefighters to an entire mob. Also the dialogue is very poorly written with characters repeating the same lines over and over again, “Evil Dies Tonight.”

However some students disagreed saying it was suspenseful.

“It was alright. It was suspenseful but was pretty slow,” junior Marco Lopez said.

However, there are many positives to this movie. The amazing score composed by John Carpenter makes some scenes much more thrilling. The cinematography is also a big step forward from the first movie with long takes of Michael walking in the night. The burned mask that Michael Myers wears is phenomenal, giving him a much more sinister look. Lastly, the kills were brutal and the body count never stops.

There are students who enjoyed these aspects of the movie.

“It was very good, the unexpected ending was interesting, the gore was a bit much though. Best horror movie I have seen,” sophomore Caden Taylor said.

If you want to watch a guy in a William Shatner mask kill people in a variety of ways you won’t be disappointed. That being said, if you want an interesting story with good dialogue you won’t be pleased. However, there is one more part to this trilogy coming out in 2022 so be aware of that.

Dune (2021) – An Immersive Science Fiction Experience

Directed By: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Oscar Isaac, David Bautista, Josh Brolin, David Dastmalchian
Rated PG-13: Mild Violence, Intense Scenes, and Disturbing Images.
Where to find: Theaters near you, HBO Max,

In 1965, Frank Herbert released a science fiction novel called Dune. Dune received critical acclaim, some calling the novel the “greatest science fiction novel ever written.”
In 2021, Denis Villeneuve, a long-time fan of the novel, released Dune on the big screen. Denis
Viilleneuve has been recently getting a lot of acclaim for his filmography which includes films such as Prisoners (2013), Enemy (2013), Sicario (2015), and Blade Runner: 2049 (2017). With Dune (2021), he again has not disappointed.

Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, played wonderfully by Timothee Chamalet, whose family has received control of the planet Arrakis. The planet is a desolate sand planet and is inhospitable besides a few small tribe settlements. That being said, the planet contains an invaluable spice called melange. This spice is extremely important because it enhances mental ability and extends your life. However, the most important aspect of melange is its use in space travel to get to other planets. In the universe of Dune, computers are not allowed with the fear of AI takeover.

In the film we see different groups and factions fighting over the spice and the danger of the sandworms, a mile-long creature that hunts solely on vibrations in the sand.

Dune is Star Wars meets Game of Thrones. The setting of Arrakis looks gorgeous in the movie, and it’s excelled by the camera work of Greig Fraiser. Let’s not forget about the score composed by Hans Zimmer, who previously did The Dark Knight and Interstellar, who helps bring an otherworldly feel to the movie.

The star-studded cast also helps to bring the movie to another level. However, if you go into this movie expecting action, you might be disappointed. Since this is the first half of the book, it is mostly an exposition dump to help set up the story and characters that regular moviegoers might not understand.

Some students felt this way.

“The visuals were amazing, but there was a slow start to it, and characters were brought in and weren’t shown again,” sophomore Lucy Grimes said.

However, it is very intriguing and does not feel boring. Production for Dune 2 started recently, and the director said he will include a lot more action. I highly recommend seeing this movie, especially in IMAX if you have time.



MANDY (2018)

Directed By: Panos Cosmatos
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Risenborough, Linus Roache, Bill Duke
Rated R: Nudity, Graphic Violence, Drug Usage, Strong Language
Where to find: Shudder,

Mandy takes you on a cathartic hallucinatory journey for revenge. The movie starts slowly showing the loving relationship between Red (Nicolas Cage) and Mandy (Andrea Risenborough), but halfway through things take a turn for the worse and it becomes just pure chaos.

With the haunting soundtrack composed by the late Johann Johannsson, hypnotic visuals, and over-the-top violence, it makes Mandy one of Nicolas Cages’ best movies.

Green Room (2015)

Directed by: Jeremy Saulnier
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart
Rated R: Drug Usage, Graphic Violence, Strong Language

Where to find: Hulu,

Green Room follows a punk rock band that witnesses a murder, leaving them to fight for their lives against a group of white supremacists led by Patrick Stewart. What plays out is a back and forth battle between both sides where you don’t know what is going to happen next.

Thanks to the impressive practical effects, the violence in this movie isn’t over the top but rather realistic and visceral. Not only that, but the dirty atmosphere creates tension throughout.

I Saw the Devil (2010)

Directed by: Kim Wee-woon
Starring: Lee Byung-hun, Choi Min-sik, In-seo Kim
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Strong Language, Nudity, Sexual Violence
Find on YouTube

With the popularity of Squid Game, it is the best time to recommend more Korean cinema. I Saw the Devil follows secret agent Kim Soo-Hyeon played by Lee Byung-hun who is recently known for playing the Front Man in Squid Game, hunting down the man who murdered his pregnant wife.

The serial killer he is looking for is Kyung-Chul, played by Choi Min-sik who is popular for his role in Oldboy, is the definition of a monster who targets women and children.

On his journey to redeem his wife Kim Soo-Hyeon realizes that the only way to hurt a monster, is to become a monster. With incredible acting done by the cast and the intriguing plot, you wonder who you can possibly root for in this movie.