Inbred (2011) – Movie Review by Max Coulson

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8/10

This movie is like if Eli Roth had decided to make a League of Gentlemen movie, and I fucking loved every second of it!

The film follows four young offenders, and two care workers – who travel to the Yorkshire village of Mortlake (no, really) to spend the weekend salvaging scrap metal.

Pretty shortly after their arrival – they have a run in with some local boys who were burning animals alive, and one care worker (Jeff) injures himself.

This is around about the time the movie decides to go completely batshit crazy, and introduce the concept of an entire village of people who go to watch human torture-laden variety shows, masturbate to Playboy magazines with photos of animal heads awkwardly glued over the models’ faces, and sit around eating maggots.

This may be one of the most fun horror films I’ve seen in quite a while, that wasn’t a full-blown comedy movie.  Now, there are laughs – quite a few, in fact.  But this film is clearly a horror, first and foremost.

I also really enjoyed how much it celebrated its Britishness.  There is something about this grim, Yorkshire village that feels so much grimer, so much more bleak than the landscapes we see in American horror movies.

A quick side note- this is the first movie I have reviewed where I know people involved in the production.  Granted, not the director or anyone high up in the production team – but two of the titular inbreds (see one of them below).

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Myself pictured with Pam Vince, who played an inbred in the film.  Also note Ed’s amazing photobombing skills.  #FarmerSwag  – original photograph by Oxyte*.

Cool points aside, no movie is perfect – and that goes double for the horror genre.  Yeah, we’re talking tropes.  Let’s reel ’em off:

The main characters are fucking idiots who constantly split up, can’t stop arguing in serious situations, and can’t tell if booze is flammable or not, based on the fucking scent.

Oh, and one of the social workers hides all the phones somewhere in the house for stuffy old fart reasons – including his own.  Now, I’m not expecting him to predict that the entire town would try to kill them but, considering accidental injuries can and did occur, and the fact that there is an arsonist and former gang member amongst the group – maybe ditching their means of contact with the emergency services is a fucking stupid and irresponsible thing to do, as a fucking social worker.

So, yeah, stupidity is as big of a threat as the actual inbreds – but I have a slight inkling that clever storytelling wasn’t really what writer/director Alex Chandon had in mind when creating this particular gorefest.  I think I may have gotten that impression around the time a teen’s stomach exploded after having the contents of a septic tank pumped into his mouth, causing shit to splash into the faces of a cheering crowd of inbreds, all wearing 3d glasses.

This movie was pure, dumb fun, and it was amazing.  Check it out.

 

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The Lords of Salem (2013) – Movie Review by Max Coulson

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8/10

Can I quickly ask why everyone seems to hate this movie?  And, while I’m at it – can I also quickly ask why everyone seems to hate House of 1000 Corpses and Devil’s Rejects?

This is a well crafted, visually interesting horror movie – with a steady pace that gradually builds, throughout.  In stark contrast to his earliest effort, House of 1000 Corpses, where the shit hits the fan so hard that the entire audience gets whiplash — Lords of Salem builds up so gradually and so subtly that, by the end, you’re left wondering at exactly what point everything got so crazy.

Now, is this a perfect movie?  Of course not.  The characters, while they feel very much like real people, aren’t exactly fleshed out.  Hell, other than the lead character (Heidi), I couldn’t name a single other character in the film.  The plot is also more or less wafer thin, and could easily be compressed to that of a short film, with very few changes to the script.

Still, a film like this isn’t really about story or character development – it is about building an atmosphere and a general feeling of dread that builds up and up throughout.  And, if a movie is crafted well enough, it can achieve this – regardless of how fleshed out the characters are.

The film takes place in Salem, unsurprisingly, and follows the aforementioned Heidi – a DJ on one of those annoying “WACKY” shows where they play sound effects until Lloyd Kaufman storms out of the building.

The station receives a mysterious vinyl record, addressed to Heidi, and stating that is from “The Lords.”  Heidi and her not-boyfriend listen to the record – awakening an ancient curse, put on her bloodline by a Satanic coven in the 1600’s.

What follows is a shit-ton of increasingly fucked up visuals, really effective music stings, bizarre creatures, and plenty of “can’t tell if it’s a hallucination” sequences.

From what I can tell, the majority of the hate fired at this film comes from two major places – the lack of jump-scares (there are none) and the abundance of weird imagery towards the end.

Between the reaction to this movie, and the love and adoration people throw at the Inception franchise and, even worse, Paranormal Activity — I really do start to understand the stigma surrounding the horror community.

That said, I live in a world where people actually give praise to the steaming pile of festering anus that is Cabin in the Woods (the review is coming, trust me), so I guess I’m just completely out-of-touch.

Anyway – I’m 100% recommending this one to anybody who wants a change from the standard fakeout jump-scare bullshit.

Klown Kamp Massacre (2010) – Movie Review by Max Coulson

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7/10

God it feels good to watch some good old fashioned shlock, sometimes!

Brought to you by Troma and produced by Lloyd Kaufman, this is a fun little tribute to classic slasher films of the eighties, with one of the sillier gimmicks I’ve seen in a while.  You see, this isn’t another standard killer clown movie.  In this film – this is a clown who exclusively kills other clowns!  Oh yeah, this movie deals with clown on clown violence!

The story is simple enough- in the 90’s, a painfully unfunny clown-in-training massacres everyone at the clown camp he is studying at, following a poorly received practical joke.  Years later, the camp is re-opened and a bunch of new wannabe clowns sign up, only to be picked off one by one by the same killer.

The general look and feel of the movie is really on-point, using atmospheric lighting and plenty of haze to create that classic slasher mood.  Through most of the film, we never see the killer clown – in favour of p.o.v shots, and tight close ups of the victims as they are killed.  This, combined with the atmosphere, perfectly re-creates the feel of the original Friday the 13th or Sleepaway Camp.

In classic Troma fashion, there are no real characters to speak of – rather, we are introduced to several bizarre, grotesque caricatures.  Amongst the victims; there’s a chronic masturbator and flasher, someone who clearly has severe learning disabilities, and a Juggalo stereotype.

The only times this movie falls flat is in its desperation to constantly get laughs.  The fact is, that a slasher movie where the victims are clowns doesn’t need to have constant jokes in order to be funny – because the silliness of the concept will take it a long way.  I kept wishing it was played more like an actual slasher flick through many of the scenes, and just heighten the silliness of the concept with occasional visual gags.  There were moments in the film where this was the method, and it worked out far better than the scenes with constant jokes.

I’d definitely recommend this film to anybody looking for a fun little switch-your-brain off horror comedy, or looking for something to up the pace in a bad movie marathon.  As far as this genre goes, it’s no Terror Firmer, but it’s still worth a watch.

Unfriended (2014) – Movie Review by Max Coulson

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2/10

“What’s a troll”

“You know, an internet troll.  Someone who messes with people online.”

A movie that thinks its audience is fucking stupid!

This movie was anus.  Pure, unfiltered anus.

Spoilers ahead, stop reading if you give a shit!

Let’s do some roleplay.  You’re a teenager chatting to your friends on Skype.  A text post comes from your account, insulting one of your friends – but you didn’t type it.  During the argument that follows, that same friend sends you a message insulting you – while she is clearly waving her arms on webcam indicating that she isn’t typing.  She then claims that she didn’t send that message.  What do you do?

Apparently, you suspend any and all rational thought and accuse the sket of lying!

This is the level of intelligence displayed by characters in this movie, and clearly a level of intelligence that the filmmakers thought was shared by the audience.  Seriously, this movie thinks you’re a moron.  It thinks so little of its audience that I’m surprised it bothered to make an actual movie in favour of an 83 minute video of someone jingling their keys in front of the camera.

So, the gimmick of this movie is that the ghost of this dead chick punishes those who drove her to suicide by making them commit suicide except not really because they’re possessed when it happens.

One dude shoots himself.  The cool part is, there are subtle clues that the ghost will use the gun to kill him, throughout the movie.  Those clues are little things like him waving the gun around constantly, shouting that he has a gun, other characters shouting that he has a gun, and so on.

Another guy kills himself with a knife that he keeps waving around because that’s just what teenagers do on the internet!  Waving knives around while flirting with your utterly bland girlfriend as she does her little PG-13 strip-tease.  Not sure how this movie got an R rating in America because it is tame as fuck.

Obvious telegraphing aside, this movie’s biggest problem isn’t that it thinks the audience is dumb.  It’s that it’s fucking dull to spend an hour and twenty minutes watching grainy images of teenagers sitting in their empty rooms not really doing anything.  It could have worked as a character piece but, as you’d probably gathered, the movie is too dumb and cliche to ever make that work.

No, what we are treated to are a series of attempted jumpscares that fail to be anything other than loud and annoying, weaksauce gore, crappy dialogue, and characters getting angry at each other even when facing death at the hands of a ghost because they are all dumb fucks with no basic survival instinct.

I can say, with absolute certainty, that if a ghost revealed that my girlfriend had been cheating on me – I would be too busy freaking out about the whole ghost aspect, to actually give a shit about the cheating.  That’s a problem you deal with after you’ve dealt with the thing trying to fucking kill you!

Talking of which, the main character actually gets quite a bit of information about how to deal with social network savvy ghosts, from a plot convenience forum that her boyfriend found – and it explains that the ghost can be stopped if you simply confess.

At the end, the ghost gives her one last chance to confess…  and the silly twat still keeps her trap shut and, no shit, the ghost fucking kills her!

The characters in this movie are so dumb that I’m relatively sure they would’ve all died soon, regardless of any paranormal bullshit.

Overall, this movie is anus and I regret my decision in watching it.