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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 Makes ‘Fantasy Island’ a Nightmare

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Fantasy Island

Blumhouse is turning a classic television series into a full horror experience, as ‘Fantasy Island’ is set to arrive on February 14th, 2020.

According to the synopsis: “The Enigmatic Mr. Roarke (played by Michael Peña) makes the secret dreams of his lucky guests come true at a luxurious but remote tropical resort. But when the fantasies turn into nightmares, the guests have to solve the island’s mystery in order to escape with their lives.”

You can check out the official trailer below:

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Leigh Whannell’s ‘The Invisible Man’ Releases Trailer

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The Invisible Man

Leigh Whannell’s ‘The Invisible Man’ has released a trailer and with it comes a glimpse, or lack thereof, of the monster on the loose.

According to the synopsis: “Trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist, Cecilia Kass (Moss) escapes in the dead of night and disappears into hiding, aided by her sister (Harriet Dyer), their childhood friend (Aldis Hodge) and his teenage daughter (Storm Reid).”

“But when Cecilia’s abusive ex (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) commits suicide and leaves her a generous portion of his vast fortune, Cecilia suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of eerie coincidences turns lethal, threatening the lives of those she loves, Cecilia’s sanity begins to unravel as she desperately tries to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.“

The movie hits theaters on February 28th, 2020.

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Hurricane Thriller ‘Grand Isle’ Drops Official Trailer

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Grand Isle

A brand new trailer has arrived for the hurricane thriller ‘Grand Isle’ starring Nicolas Cage, who is at the top of his game playing a psycho.

According to the synopsis: “Walter (Nicolas Cage) and his neglected wife lure a young man into their Victorian home to escape a hurricane. When the man is charged with murder by Det. Jones (Kelsey Grammar), he must reveal the couple’s wicked secrets to save himself.”

The film arrives in theaters and on demand, via Screen Media Films, on December 6th.

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