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REVIEW: Never Hike Alone

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It’s amazing what can be done regarding media creation these days. With the advancements of cell phones, cameras and gadgets, more people are empowered to create.

It’s immediately impressive to see just how well-shot the Friday the 13th fan-made film ‘Never Hike Alone’ really is.

Great landscapes, solid clarity and good use of sound really make you forget that this is a fan-made films and not another entry into the series.

With that being said, the movie’s story is a bit straightforward, as hiker and survivalist Kyle McLeod (Drew Leighty) ventures into the woods on another one of his video-documented hiking adventures.

Kyle experiences some interesting things during his adventure, including hearing a pack of coyotes getting into a confrontation with “something” while he is in his tent (obviously they encounter Jason) and his stumbling upon a ‘No Trespassing’ sign that he , of course, ignores, which leads him to stumble upon ‘Camp Crystal Lake’.

The movie pays homage to the original films at various points throughout the movie, so the hardcore fans will be happy to see these moments (I certainly was).

It’s clear that the makers of this flick really love the franchise, it shines through and through many times throughout this film and it’s great to see the franchise handled with such love, especially considering a lot of the film’s entries were thrown together for the sake of gory kills for box office money.

If future films took this approach, this series could really have one hell of a 2nd life.

With all of that being said, the film starts losing it’s appeal, sadly, when Jason (Vincente DiSanti) arrives. While we are used to a hulking, towering character who is visibly a physical force, ‘Never Hike Alone’ provides us a skinny, normal-looking version of Jason. It’s just not the way Jason should look.

I give the film credit for trying to compensate for this by adding sound effects such as monsterous, earth-shaking footsteps when Jason walks, but this is where the film starts to unravel a bit. The sound effects do not match the visual.

It just doesn’t connect and thus, reminds you that this film is a fan-made flick, and you start to lose interest.

While it sounds like the film dies a slow death after this part, it doesn’t, but it doesn’t hold interest beyond a certain point, when the excitement of seeing a new take on Friday the 13th wears off.

What the film does well is certainly worth applauding. For example, I love the odes to the classics, the new take on Jason’s face without the mask (which almost made up for Jason’s flawed physical look), the love put into the film, a new angle on the series, and the cameo of Tommy Jarvis (Thom Mathews) will leave fans pretty satisfied.

For the hardcore Friday the 13th fan, this move checks a lot of boxes and will make you smile in a lot of ways, but it lacks anything else beyond nostalgia and initial excitement.

I doubt anyone who isn’t a diehard fan of the series may enjoy the film, as I see it clearly made for a specific audience.

I applaud the efforts and it can be argued that the acting was better in this film than a lot of it’s predecessors, even some of the writing.

For under an hour this film was timed beautifully, had a nice pace and took a fresh take.

Most importantly, it proved that the Friday the 13th series is indeed in demand, so, hopefully this film will help push big picture companies to green light a new film and, more importantly, put folks who actually love the franchise at the helm.

No more Platinum Dunes garbage. Give us something new, creative, and most of all, scary.

Fright Nerd Score
50 frights
Summary
For the hardcore Friday the 13th fan, this move checks a lot of boxes and will make you smile in a lot of ways, but it lacks anything else beyond nostalgia and initial excitement.
Fright Nerd Score50

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Blumhouse Drops Trailer for ‘Ma’

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Blumhouse has dropped a trailer for Universal Pictures’ ‘Ma’ starring Oscar winner Octavia Spencer.

An Australian trailer was released that gave fans a look at the strange film set to arrive on May 31st.

According to the synopsis:

“Everybody’s welcome at Ma’s. But good luck getting home safe. Oscar® winner Octavia Spencer stars as Sue Ann, a loner who keeps to herself in her quiet Ohio town. One day, she is asked by Maggie, a new teenager in town (Diana Silvers, Glass), to buy some booze for her and her friends, and Sue Ann sees the chance to make some unsuspecting, if younger, friends of her own.

She offers the kids the chance to avoid drinking and driving by hanging out in the basement of her home. But there are some house rules: One of the kids has to stay sober. Don’t curse. Never go upstairs. And call her “Ma.” But as Ma’s hospitality starts to curdle into obsession, what began as a teenage dream turns into a terrorizing nightmare, and Ma’s place goes from the best place in town to the worst place on earth.

Ma also stars Juliette Lewis (August: Osage County) as Maggie’s mom, Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast) as a local dad, Missi Pyle (Gone Girl) as his girlfriend, and McKaley Miller (TV’s Hart of Dixie), Corey Fogelmanis (TV’s Girl Meets World), Gianni Paolo (TV’s Power) and Dante Brown (Lethal Weapon TV series) as Maggie’s friends.

From Tate Taylor, the acclaimed director of The Help and Get On Up, and blockbuster producer Jason Blum (Get Out, Halloween, The Purge series) comes a thriller anchored by a daring and unexpected performance from Spencer, one of the most powerful actors of her generation.

Ma is written by Scotty Landes (Comedy Central’s Workaholics) and Taylor, is produced by Blum for his Blumhouse Productions, by Taylor, and by John Norris (executive producer, Get On Up), and is executive produced by Spencer, Couper Samuelson, Jeanette Volturno, and Robin Fisichella.”

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Vertical Entertainment Drops Trailer for ‘Isabelle’

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A brand new trailer has dropped for horror film ‘Isabelle’ which will arrive in limited theaters and VOD platforms on May 24th.

Starring Amanda Crew and Adam Brody, the film’s synopsis states:

“After moving into the perfect New England neighborhood, an all-American couple’s dream of starting a family shatter as they descend into the depths of paranoia and must struggle to survive an evil spirit that wants nothing more than their own lives.”

The following trailer is courtesy of Bloody Disgusting:

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‘Hell Fest’ Writer Akela Cooper Writing Sequel to ‘The Nun’

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Although it was the highest grossing film in the Conjuring franchise, ‘The Nune’, which dropped last October, was absolutely horrible, in my opinion, and my review reflected those views.

Despite all of the hype and build, the film just fell short.

However, due to it’s box office success, a sequel is in the works, and a new writer is at the helm.

According to Deadline, Akela Cooper, who is known for her work on “Luke Cage,” “Grimm,” “American Horror Story,” and”Hell Fest”, will pen the script for the sequel.

Producer Peter Safran , who will return alongside James Wan to produce the sequel, teased something interesting in regards to a sequel.

“We have a really fun storyline for that teed up, so I think that’s the next one that will be written” Safran said, according to Entertainment Weekly.

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