A lot of films contribute to the slasher genre, although John Carpenter likely gave the biggest influence on the subgenre and now anytime any horror fan thinks about Halloween or just the date of October 31st it just conjures images of masked killers terrorizing random individuals. Hence, the simplistic design of Bryan Coyne (Infernal (2015)), the director, writer, and producer of Bad Apples a straight up slasher picture for the fans to enjoy, released by Uncork’d Entertainment in February 2018. Now the title inspires the tagline ‘Rotten to the Core’ and story does the exact same thing, though the concept of apples to Halloween, notes the urban legends of razor blades and even echoes back to evil witches and poison fruit. However, the last time I ever recalled a filmmaker using Apples in the more line of horror the short film by director Alec Asten’s The Curse of Micah Rood (2008).
As is the standard slasher formula, the film opens with a kill, spoiler alert not really because the subgenre of fans knows the tune very well, it starts on Halloween night. A soon to be mother featuring rising horror star Heather Dorff (Red Eye (2017)) just shut the lights and decide to turn in early, a man storms in and quickly stabs her belly before working to cut the baby out (later to learn its twins) he then slits his own throat. No information given why, and no one knows anything except the experienced horror fans, those infants actually the future killers portrayed by (Alycia Lourim, Heather Vaughn). A quick jump to the present day with a couple moving into their new home on, you guess it right in time for Halloween, played by Brea Grant (Beyond the Gates (2016)) and Graham Skipper (Tales of Halloween (2015)) moving into a new home right in time for Halloween. As they sort of unpack, they learn their neighbor across the street is a child predator, and Robert (Skipper) enjoys Halloween but is a medical intern and they suffered the loss of their child through SIDS about a year ago. Meanwhile Ella (Grant) getting unpacked settling in, meeting her new boss Principal Dale, talking about the bad apples aka students in the Los Angeles schools and then meeting other neighbors, ugh. The two girls start the murder spree Principal Dale (Richard Riehle) tries to take their masks from them, they kill without a care, or reason before reaching their endgame with a human jack-o-lantern. This duo emits no emotions or even words the silent killer type, the problem even Michael Myers made the subtle head title or wore the glasses over sheet (ghost) look, these two do nothing.
In addition, this hapless town sadly has no law enforcement, the girls kill Dale, the secretary pops her head in and knows who she saw, later just screams. By the end, no police, nothing hence a budget line item to cut, and streamline the film even more, the girls get to kill unmercifully and no flashing lights anywhere. It’s very silly, thoroughly stretching any belief system, even Friday the 13th (1980) had police, as did Halloween (1978) as did My Bloody Valentine (1981) and so on, again standard issue, can’t afford the police car, then one or two actors as local sheriff or a detective something resembling the authorities. Lastly, there’s a title card stating CODA that explains the actual movie through an urban legend retelling in case you missed anything.
Clearly, the film aches to follow Carpenter’s example, but sadly stumbles badly, and highly possible to become forgotten and tossed aside like a rotten apple. The movie tracks more of a home invasion, leading to a sequel, and while the masks hide all emotions, it never brings an outrageous creep factor like that of The Strangers (2008) avoid Bad Apples seriously dedicated horror fans, the mild manner ones take a bite.
IMDb Rating: 3.4/10
Baron’s Rating: 3/10