A nice independent slasher from director by Christopher Ray (Circus Kane ) from a script co-written with Victoria Dadi (A House Is Not a Home ) and Christopher M. Don, delivers creative killers and a large body count. While using the masks, they’re a happy murdering family, ready to hack and slash their way into anyone’s lives. Simply stated, this flick, distributed by Uncork’d Entertainment, brings old fashioned excessive gore, violence and nudity to the screen for all traditional slasher fans to thoroughly enjoy.
Before launching into the summary of this film one needs to tell of the sad news, this might actually be the last horror movie filmed at the legendary Spanish hacienda at the fame Sable Movie Ranch in Santa Clarita, California. The infamous wildfires recently racing through parts of the state that destroyed lives and businesses, namely this one, a place used in television episodes and other horror films such as The Devil’s Rejects (2005), Little Dead Rotting Hood (2016), and the first horror flick which used it Motel Hell (1980).
The casting for this microbudget picture, quite impressive when one looks at the credits as it features William Baldwin (Flatliners ), Richard Grieco (Webs ), and Bill Moseley (Dark Roads 79 ). In fact, clearly early into the feature Moseley who portrays the character Gimple gives a twisted performance of a homicidal artist who enjoys painting with blood and having body parts hanging on meat hooks in his art studio. All of it references a collection of his legendary bizarre characters from movies such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). As the town prepares for the New Year’s Eve parties, Sophia (Sara Fletcher) swipes a key to a cabin owned by her boss’ company for her six co-workers/friends which begins the customary pattern of previous slashers formula. A horrific secretive countdown starts as nightfall hits the area, meanwhile a mysterious backpacker Travis John Hennigan (Ascent to Hell ) searching for his brother Charlie (Kaiwi Lyman (Zoombies ) and his girlfriend, comes to town. Richard Grieco, as the Sheriff gives a solid performance, along with other townsfolk all aware of the secrets of the past, then again every small town, regardless of location has a dirty past. They act of not knowing it or confessing often enough brings doom, damnation, and death and this time no difference. Among the group of friends, is Jared Cohen (Hulk Blood Tapes ) as the drunken goofball, Richie, hence the comedic character used to break tension, who desperately seeks opportunities to score. Some of the other friends hanging around for their chosen time of death, Tiffani (Jena Sims), Kyle (Phillip Andre Botello) and Vanessa (Heather Paige Cohn) all prove breaking the rules in horror films as stated in Scream (1996) still results in gruesome deaths. One the killers known as Angus (Aaron Aguilera, in his first horror flick) gives a truly hulking psychotic performance, aided by his mask and arsenal of weaponry. As any fan of horror or true crime stories knows, killers enjoy trophy items of their victims, well Angus keeps them very close to him, namely using his victim’s bones as weapons. The best one is a version of the spike ball and chain, which of course inflicts brutal violence and incredible blood splatter. This film does things in murder by number method, easily to follow, but very much a fun ride, and without going too much more into the story, best say it leaves plenty of bloodstains everywhere.
Ray’s cast delivers some natural acting, not feeling too forced, while producing frightful moments, the jump scares. The flick contains plenty of gore; heighten body count and T&A everywhere, while the end of the movie contains a great fighting sequence. There’s a bit of an issue with lighting at night, one scene, contains mysterious blue light and obvious fog machine, all during a supposed thunderstorm, but it lacks any authenticity, no rain or wind present. Nonetheless the story moves at a steady pace, any lagging is quickly replaced with some drama, but the horror elements never far behind the talkative moments.
Simply a fun horror film, yes it clichéd at times, plays with the backwoods mentality, but puts the right amount of emphasis on gore and thereby delivers some nice splatters and brutality for the target audience of gore-hounds and fans of slashers.
IMDb Rating: 3.6/10
Baron’s Rating: 4.0/10