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REVIEW: Terrifier

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One thing that Damien Leone’s ‘Terrifier’ did right was their partnership with Dread Central, which helped promote this movie and provide it the exposure to draw in more viewers.

It certainly paid off huge with this flick.

The other thing that the movie did well was it’s casting of Art the Clown, played by David Howard Thornton, who played the role perfectly, from his facial expressions to his toyful taunting of his victims.

But as far as everything else, this film misses some marks.

While the brutal kills are cringeworthy, and the special effects are definitely solid, the film goes off track too many times to really maintain momentum.

The main character roles are swapped around too much, the logic of some of the story’s twists and turns seemed a bit hollow and rushed, and the character of Art the Clown seemed above the film, because, well, he was.

Art the Clown has potential to be really memorable. David Howard Thornton captured a true essence with his portrayal and it has laid the groundwork to become something much bigger.

But being caught in a slasher that loses your interest not even halfway through, will be unfortunate if it continues.

I’m a big fan of slasher films and I understand their sense of humor, I appreciate how they don’t take themselves too seriously, and how slasher flicks live in the gore and the killing, famously, and humorously, shooting for the lewd and ridiculous over a serious tone, more often than not.

But ‘Terrifier’ doesn’t seem like it’s living in the slasher genre, it seems to want to be taken seriously and relies on, what it thinks is a solid story, and navigates through this story in a confusing and perplexing way.

I read a lot of reviews regarding the film and mostly all of them rave about the potential of Art the Clown as a horror movie icon.

But the character needs a bit more than what ‘Terrifier’ delivers in terms of depth, he needs a movie that seems on par with what he is delivering, because had David Howard Thornton not delivered the performance that he did as Art the Clown, this movie would probably been utterly unwatchable for me, despite it’s twisted kills.

The film does offer some pretty disturbing kills and scenes, such as the death of Dawn and the plight of Victoria, but it’s not enough to prop up an otherwise sloppy film.

With that being said, the movie is worth seeing, and memorable because of Art the Clown and because of some gory kills, and it will give you hope of something bigger for a horror character with a lot of potential.

But its challenging muddling through the parts of the film without gore, or Art the Clown’s behavior, and that will drag this film down, even for the experienced slasher fans.

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65.5 frights
Summary
Art the Clown has potential to be really memorable. David Howard Thornton captured a true essence with his portrayal and it has laid the groundwork to become something much bigger.
Fright Nerd Score65.5

Anthony DiMoro is the leader writer and founder of 'Fright Nerd'. DiMoro has written for popular websites such as Forbes and The Huffington Post. DiMoro cites Friday the 13th, A Nightmare On Elm Street and Halloween among his favorite horror movies of all time.

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REVIEW: Gaia

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Gaia

Earlier this year, directory Jaco Bouwer dropped his horror/drama ‘Gaia’, which just made it’s arrival on the Hulu streaming platform courtesy of XYZ Films, kykNET Films, and Film Initiative Africa, as part of their Huluween celebration.

According to the official rundown: “A park ranger takes shelter with two survivalists after an attack by mysterious creatures in a primordial forest.”

This film bursts with colorful and detailed imagery that cast ominous tones, diverse moods, and illustrates a hallucinogenic environment that is filled with unique creatures, and plantlife that takes on a life of their own.

Gabi (Monique Rockman) ventures into this forest and is immediately interwoven into the troubling dynamic of a father and son survivalist lifestyle. Barend (Carel Nel) is more of a deranged preacher high off the mushroom dust that is part of his “faith”, and demands that his son Stefan (Alex van Dyk) live a life that he determines to be pure – a secluded one away from society, reliant on the forest and the worshiping of the forest God.

Gabi attempts to convince Stefan of a world outside of the forest, one where he can grow, learn, and thrive, despite his father’s constant obsession on their forest life. As Gabi grows closer to Stefan, with oddly sexual undertones, Barend becomes more detached and intensely obsessed with the big tree in the forest which is where he makes his offerings, and is the altar for which he prays.

As the forest creatures continue to threaten, and as the forest slowly infects and kills those it selects, Gabi rushes to help Stefan escape to the outside world.

Fright Nerd Score
65.5 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
Incredible imagery, and an unsettling tone that really sets the mood for the entire movie. Despite these strengths, Gaia struggles to be nothing more than a scrambled drug-induced "trip" which lacks consistent sense. However, it does enough to deliver a good watch, as long as you can submit to a bit of puzzling storytelling.
Fright Nerd Score65.5
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REVIEW: No One Gets Out Alive

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No One Gets Out Alive

Netflix’s new horror, Santiago Menghini’s ‘No One Gets Out Alive’ hit the ground running in late September as a number of positive reviews rolled in for the film, which is the adaptation of Adam Nevill’s novel.

According to the official synopsis: An immigrant (Cristina Rodlo) in search of the American dream is forced to take a room in a boarding house, where she finds herself in a nightmare she can’t escape.”

Ambar is a struggling immigrant, one who is also undocumented and fighting to hide her identity, who is forced to rent a room in a multi-room home that is undergoing extensive renovations and only houses women.

Ambar struggles at her new job, where she is constantly behind and on the chopping block with her manager, but befriends a co-worker by the name of Kinsi (Moronke Akinola) who promises her an American ID card to help her get situated in the country.

As the home’s dark past continues to bubble up, so does Ambar’s desperation. Aside from the dreams of her mother’s hospitalization leading up to her death, Ambar is also haunted by the ghosts of the home, which seems like a video playback of the murders that took place in the home over the years.

As the movie progresses and the hauntings more intense, Ambar starts suffering loss after loss, and falling deeper into the home’s grasp.

The owners hide a mysterious ancient box in the basement, one that demands to feast on the heads of the living, and provides an ominous power to those who feed it. While the monster that comes out from the box is comical, it doesn’t take too much away from the entire movie.

A dark journey filled with struggle, loss, and fear molds Ambar into considering a darker path than the one she was on.

Fright Nerd Score
68 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
If you can look past the ridiculousness of the "monster" in the box, this movie checks all the boxes that good paranormal horror movie offers. A good story that is paced perfectly and offering many creepy images along the way.
Fright Nerd Score68
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REVIEW: Tragedy Girls

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Tragedy Girls

During this Halloween season there will be a lot of movies available for horror fans, and while a bunch of new releases will be popping up throughout the month of October, I started to dig into some horror movies that have surfaced over the past few years that I had not gotten a chance to check out.

One such movie was Tyler Macintyre’s 2017 horror/comedy ‘Tragedy Girls’, which is now available on Hulu, and stars Brianna Hildebrand, Alexandria Shipp, Craig Robinson, Kevin Durand, Jack Quaid, and Josh Hutcherson.

According to the official synopsis: “Teenage crime reporters Sadie and McKayla are hot on the trail of a crazed serial killer. After capturing the maniac and holding him hostage, they soon realize that the best way to boost their social media stardom is to commit the murders themselves.”

The movie is a fun journey through a number of horror movie tropes, and despite being somewhat hollow at points and drifting away from the finer details in certain scenes, the cast performances and the personality of the movie more than make up for it, providing an entertaining experience.

Sadie and McKayle are obsessed with building a social media presence, while also authoring a memorable killing spree that will go down in history, and the movie hilariously shows their first few murders that, by circumstance, end up looking like accidents, which upsets the girls.

The girls are intensely focused on popularity via social media platforms, and driving viewers to their website, and also socially they go through the motions to fit in, such as cheerleading and prom planning.

But it fails to land in their intended way, which forces the girls to step up their game, and get more brutal with their killings.

As their popularity grows, their mindsets appear to change, especially as a relationship evolves between Sadie and Jordan (Quaid) which drives a wedge between the girls and shifts Sadie from a psychotic killer to a caring, socially engaged student that deviates completely from her destructive path.

The kills are hilariously brutal and the story, aside from some logical bumps in the road, provides plenty to bite into that doesn’t drag the movie down.

 

Fright Nerd Score
71 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
A fun, witty, and humorous ride with two psychopaths hell-bent on gaining social media popularity via a brutal killing spree that will go down in history...they hope.
Fright Nerd Score71
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