Here’s a series that remains reliably scary because its Big Bad is the Big Kahuna himself, the Grim Reaper. Sure, the formula is the same — some youngster has a premonition that a group of pals are about to die in a horrible accident. They’re saved briefly, but Death will not be denied, and stalks the surviving teens one by one, claiming its due. The inventive part comes via the elaborate Rube Goldberg-ian processes by which Fate turns seemingly benign arrangements of random objects into sources of horrible freak accidents.
In a way, Death is an even better monster than Jason (Friday the 13th), Freddy (Nightmare on Elm Street), or Michael (Halloween) – it’s just as implacable and impervious to bargaining, reasoning, and negotiation, but what’s more, it can’t even be seen or spoken to. And it doesn’t dispense tasteless wisecracks every time it claims a new victim. Really, there’s no reason they can’t keep making these movies forever, since Death is the one horror movie baddie that really will never run out of victims and that actually will come one day for us all.
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