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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.

Review 0
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: The Exorcism of God

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The Exorcism of God

One movie that I was excited to check out was Alejandro Hidalgo’s ‘The Exorcism of God’ which is scheduled to arrive in theaters on March 11th, and stars Will Beinbrink and Joseph Marcell, and I got the chance to do that over the weekend.

According to the summary: “Peter Williams is an American priest in Mexico who’s considered a saint by many local parishioners. However, due to a botched exorcism, he carries a dark secret that’s eating him alive until he gets an opportunity to face his own demon one last time.”

The movie is creative in it’s approach, and for the majority of the first half of the movie it builds a great foundation for a story, centered on and American priest working in Mexico who does something terrible while becoming temporarily possessed during an exorcism. Dealing with the guilt from his sin, the priest banishes himself into near-seclusion for 18 years as he continues his orphanage charitable work, while hiding his secret from the church.

Williams fears that telling the bishop will lead to him being excommunicated and unable to continue his work.

The movie weaves through this with precision, and sets up a promising conclusion. For an exorcism movie, it seems to reel in creative scenes and not rely so much on the typical cliches that have riddled the horror movie genre.

However, where it shines in the setup, it fails miserably in the execution.

Simply too much is going on during the last 45 minutes of the movie, and churns a solid foundation into a fractured, convoluted mess. Gone are any excitement for the story, and gone is any tone of fear that was initially set.

The plot self destructs with no good reason, and leaves a deflated, disappointed feeling for an ending that perhaps had far more depth, but was severely diminished by the last half of the movie.

Hildalgo shows his talent overall, but there’s simply too much going on in the end to make this movie truly stand out in an over-saturated niche.

Fright Nerd Score
52 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
A fun, exciting, and devious setup becomes unraveled for a disappointing and deflating conclusion.
Fright Nerd Score52
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REVIEW: Texas Chainsaw Massacre

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Netflix just dropped it’s new, highly anticipated horror ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ which seems to be positioned as a follow up to the 1974 classic from Tobe Hooper, but the name is about as close as it gets to being anything like the original.

The movie tells the story of “After nearly 50 years of hiding, Leatherface returns to terrorize a group of idealistic young friends who accidentally disrupt his carefully shielded world in a remote Texas town.”

As soon as the movie makes it to the 20 minute mark, I was already ready to it to end, because I have already watched a movie with the same basis, and that was the recent Halloween reboot from a few years back.

The only difference is that this ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ is nowhere near as watchable. Despite a number of gory kills, the film is nothing more than a lazy, hollow attempt at putting forth pure garbage under the mirage of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Leatherface banner.

Aside from wearing skin as a mask, putting on a dress and makeup, and wielding a chainsaw, this is not Leatherface, and it’s not even close.

The film is so lazy it glosses over details that almost insult the viewer’s intelligence. There is one particular scene, for example, where Leatherface shoots his chainsaw across the floor and clips a potential victim as they run away, suggesting that the blow severed a leg, or at the very least, shredded tendons. But mere seconds later that person is up running full tilt as if nothing happened.

And let’s just say this: the idea behind bringing back the Sally Hardesty character (the original survivor) may have looked good on paper, but no real thoughts or effort was put into it. It’s clear that the writers just copied the Laurie Strode character arc and pasted it here, and again infused lazy storytelling that lacked any logic or consistency.

As iconic as Sally is to the original, and her importance in the story, she is nothing more than a prop, and apparently has super human powers that allow her to remain a force even after having her insides chainsawed by Leatherface.

The movie is the most forgettable entry into the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, and the fact that they were so blatantly “cash-grabbing” with such a terrible, detached, and yawn inducing movie.

Fright Nerd Score
25 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
A ridiculous, inconsistent, unorganized mess of a movie that makes a mockery of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise by masquerading as part of the legendary horror franchise.
Fright Nerd Score25
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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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