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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 the mark.

While the brutal kills are cringeworthy, and the special effects are definitely solid, the film goes off track too many times to really gain 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, 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, 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 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 experience slasher fans.

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REVIEW: Velvet Buzzsaw

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Netflix recently dropped a promising looking horror/thriller with a star-studded cast called ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ which, according to The Sun, was based on a true story…of sorts.

The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, John Malkovich, Zawe Ashton, Toni Collette, Rene Russo, and Natalie Dyer and while it starts off slow, it evolves into a more sinister movie.

According to the synopsis: “After paintings by an unknown artist are discovered, a supernatural force enacts revenge on those who have allowed their greed to get in the way of art.”

Gyllenhaal excels in his role of art critic Morf Vandewalt and the support of performances from his fellow cast mates make this movie watchable, at the very least.

Unfortunately, it takes far too long to get to any real meaty parts, leaving the overall movie kind of hollow.

However, there are enough visually-appealing scenes that will hold your interest to the very end, even if the plot doesn’t do enough to reel you in.

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54.5 frights
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Gyllenhaal excels in his role of art critic Morf Vandewalt and the support of performances from his fellow cast mates make this movie watchable, at the very least.
Fright Nerd Score54.5
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REVIEW: Lizzie

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We all know the age-old rhyme; “Lizzie Borden took an axe…”, you know how it goes, but the story is always the same from rhymes, to songs, to films and so on.

Which is why ‘Lizzie’ was so refreshing, because it took a new approach at telling the legendary murder “mystery” story of Lizzie Borden and the murder of her father, and step-mother.

‘Lizzie’ which stars Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart, and produced by Sevigny, Elizabeth Destro, and Naomi Despres, takes a different approach at telling the story of the infamous murders.

” In 1892 Lizzie Borden lives a quiet life in Massachusetts under the strict rules established by her father. Lizzie finds a kindred spirit in the live-in maid, Bridget, and friendship soon blossoms into a secret romance. But tension mounts in the Borden household, leading to a violent breaking point.”

The movie is well paced, with plenty of tense moments and the proper build up to lay the foundation of motive for the murders, but brilliantly opening up the possibility that someone other than Lizzie committed the crime.

Sevigny shines as Lizzie, and her stoic approach with hints of mental illness capture the audience. Her tense relationship with her parents is beautifully rolled out.

Stewart also nails a homerun with her portrayal of Bridget Sullivan, and her budding friendship that developed with Lizzie that spiraled out of control, of sorts.

Lizzie is the perfect re-telling of the 1892 murders, if you’re looking for a fresh take, and packs plenty of emotion, foreshadowing, and pacing to present a refreshing take on one of America’s greatest, real-life, murder stories.

Fright Nerd Score
82.5 frights
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Summary
Lizzie is the perfect re-telling of the 1892 murders, if you're looking for a fresh take, and packs plenty of emotion, foreshadowing, and pacing to present a refreshing take on one of America's greatest, real-life, murder stories.
Fright Nerd Score82.5
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REVIEW: The Dark

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I had been waiting quite some time to check out Justin P. Lange and Klemens Hufnagl’s ‘The Dark’, and I finally got my chance to do it this past weekend.

‘The Dark’ tells the story of “A murderous, undead girl haunts the remote stretch of woods where she was killed decades earlier. One night she discovers a blind boy hiding in the trunk of one of her victim’s cars. Her decision to let the boy live throws her solitary existence into upheaval, and ultimately forces her to re-examine just how much of her humanity her murderer was able to destroy.

Nadia Alexander stars a Mina, a half-dead/undead girl who is feasting on victims in an abandoned house in the woods.

Mina has “survived” by feasting on the flesh of those she traps, and she has trapped wanted criminal Josef (Karl Markovics) who is on the run from the law for the abduction of a boy, Alex (Toby Nichols).

After Mina murders Josef, she comes across Alex,who is blind from his eyes being burned shut by Josef, and is amazingly good spirits, lacking any hate for Josef.

Mina and Alex slowly build a bond, as they both flee the law, and Mina’s mercy on his life has led her to now be her caretaker.

The movie hits a lot of elements out of the park, including the tragic story of Mina’s passing, and it delivers one of the better takes on a “zombie” film that I have seen in 2018, with strong cast performances, and proper pacing.

The only issue I had with the film is Mina, and the unknown about what she is. Is she dead? Alive? Undead? Half dead? That question lingers even after the credits roll, but it doesn’t anchor the movie down.

All in all, a strong film that has depth and emotion, that is worth a watch, again and again.

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87 frights
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Summary
The movie hits a lot of elements out of the park, including the tragic story of Mina's passing, and it delivers one of the better takes on a "zombie" film that I have seen in 2018, with strong cast performances, and proper pacing.
Fright Nerd Score87
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