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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

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REVIEW: Eli

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eli

Netflix has been on a roll with their release of original content, and the latest thriller rolled out to the masses of subscribers is Ciarán Foy’s ‘Eli’.

Starring Charlie Shotwell, Lili Taylor, Kelly Reilly and Sadie Sink, the film tells the story of; “A boy becomes trapped in a haunted house while undergoing treatment for a rare disease.”

Eli is stricken with a rare disease which makes him pretty much allergic toi everything. As his parents struggle to find a cure, they come across a method used by Dr. Isabella Horn that promises a cure, the only thing is, Eli will be subjected to unusual, and sometimes brutal, procedures during his stay at the facility, an old mansion.

As Eli’s treatment progresses, so do his visions of the evil dead that haunt the house.

Unfortunately, a proper setup that seems pretty organized falls apart swiftly, as the movie completely unravels due to poor organization and explanation of anything important.

Boasting good performances and what seems like a good base for an intriguing horror tale, Eli falls victim to itself. While the visuals of the ghosts are certainly worth checking out, you finish the film asking what the heck anything meant, rather than ready to suggest it to a friend.

The film relied too heavily on imagery, and a strong cast (which Charlie Shotwell stood out), deviating from any sensible approach to story telling even at it’s most basic form.

Fright Nerd Score
42 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
Unfortunately, a proper setup that seems pretty organized falls apart swiftly, as the movie completely unravels due to poor organization and explanation of anything important.
Fright Nerd Score42
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REVIEW: In the Tall Grass

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In the Tall Grass

Stephen King has been killing it (no pun intended) when it comes to the movie adaptations of his classic novels, and the latest story to be turned into a film is ‘In the Tall Grass’ which hit Netflix recently.

Vincenzo Natali is behind the camera for the adaptation of Stephen King and Joe Hill’s novella, and it came with a lot of hype.

Starring Patrick Wilson, Laysla De Oliveira, Harrison Gilbertson, Avery Whitted, and Rachel Wilson, the film tells the story of: “After hearing a boy’s cry for help, a pregnant woman and her brother wade into a vast field of grass, only to discover there may be no way out.”

The film starts off strong, with a brother (Cal) and sister (Becky, who is pregnant) hearing the panicked cries of a young boy who seems lost in a field of very tall grass. After some debate, they both decide to venture in and try to locate the lost boy (Tobin).

Tobin, and something else, turn the two siblings in circles, disorientating them and separating them. Despite their call-outs, communication, and attempts to reconnect, they cannot find one another.

Along the way, Tobin appears, near his dead dog Freddy, but Becky meets a sinister fate….or does she?

This is where the film rolls off the cliff from interesting and engaging, to confusing and messy.

As the journey continues, we find that Becky, Cal, and Tobin aren’t alone in the grass, as Tobin’s parents Ross and Natalie, along with Becky’s boyfriend Travis, also find themselves seemingly trapped.

Not to mention, there is a mystic rock in the center of the field, one with ritualistic markings and some sort of power that is activated when touched. But, don’t touch it…I guess?

While waiting for the scares and tense moments, you slowly come to the disappointing realization that you’re just watching a bunch of people, dead and alive (depending), run around in the grass in what seems like a time warp that they cannot escape? But maybe they can?

It’s hard to tell. But this film does do one thing: proves that not all of Stephen King’s work should be made into films, as this one is simply anti-climactic and rather dull.

But, hey, give it a go. Maybe you’ll find your way to some sort of meaning or understanding of what this was/is, better than I could.

Fright Nerd Score
45 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
While waiting for the scares and tense moments, you slowly come to the disappointing realization that you're just watching a bunch of people, dead and alive (depending), run around in the grass in what seems like a time warp that they cannot escape? But maybe they can?
Fright Nerd Score45
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REVIEW: Creepshow – Episode 2

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Creepshow

Shudder grabbed the attention of a number of horror fans when they announced their rebooting of the beloved classic ‘Creepshow’, which is offering a brand new episode, composed of two stories, each week.

While the first episode showed promise, the second offering from Creepshow left much to be desired.

The first story ‘Bad Wolf Down’ is about a group of World War II American soldiers who are hunkered down in a prison as Nazi soldiers are closing in, forcing them into a tense, and critical decision making situation of life and death.

While in the prison, they encounter a French woman who is attempting to lock herself away and persuade them to kill her.

As one soldier in their unit betrays them, and the Nazis start to close in further, the woman passes on her curse as a werewolf to the soldiers so they can combat the Nazis and chase down the traitor for revenge.

Although it’s early in the series, this has to be the worst episode yet, as it’s hard to execute a proper werewolf tale these days without looking ridiculous. Even if it’s purposeful, it doesn’t make it any more watchable.

The second story is called ‘The Finger’, and the dark comedy tells the story of a depressed, lonely, divorcee who happens across the odd shriveled, finger of something non-human. After spilling his beer (the same one from ‘Gray Matter’) he notices the finger has strange powers.

He puts the finger in a freezer, where it shockingly grows into a demonic, alien-looking creature that he names “Bob”. Bob is intent on brutally taking his revenge, with blood, on those who have, even slightly, wronged his master in any way.

With every death Bob commits, the body part that his master cleans up, the law closes in. But, the ending has you questioning what’s real, and what’s not and caps off one of the more enjoyable entries in the series so far. While it’s not on the level of ‘Dollhouse’ it certain’y accomplishes the goal of making campy, gory, humor…work.

Fright Nerd Score
52.5 frights
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Fright Nerd Score52.5
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