Horror fans rarely encounter a low-budget phenomenal film with the true ABCs of the horror genre presented in a vivid explosion of awesome bloodbath carnage, which includes many features of the smashing into each other with brutal force pleasuring the scenes of the diehard gore hounds, and never relenting for the briefest moment, this movie is a bloody gem. First time director and writer Flood Reed, uses dark humor to lure the audience in, before snarling them into his net of insanity, and hauling them aboard for his entertainment with respect to character development and storytelling, yet avoiding the pitfalls of sloppy style in angles and technical missteps. A forgone conclusion, this film contains incredible amounts of gore, with Vikings, Cannibal Killers, Backwoodsmen, and a cryptozoology creature that sets it into the A-list of encouraging repeated viewings, all thanks to Midnight Releasing.
The story weaves itself very well, starting with a group of loyal friends, marking the end of summer and the start of the next phase of life, college, the separating going in different directions and becoming men, all centers in New Hampshire, but one last rite of passage for them to join in together. The friends come from all different backgrounds, jocks to brains and treat each other with crude and rude jokes about sexuality and genitals, using nicknames freely, Buddy, Dude-Guy, Kid (Shawn Thomas, Tyler Rice, and Jeremy Isabella) respectively. Although the top actor for screen time and overall presence of the scenes, and rising star Dayo Okeniyi, who stars in Terminator Genisys (2015) and brings great acting skills, switching the impact of emotions in various situations, and never seeming off the mark in the performances and rallies his co-stars with wonderful dedication. Hence proving each actor’s convincing roles, and worth to every scene, and creating fearful panic moods, stretching outward to the viewer. At this moment, most think everything is just right in the world, though the horror fans, know this has no positive aspect and one starts to think of Mustang Sally (2006), not quite, the dark clouds of sinister actions gather quickly. Soon enough the strip club venture to transform the boys into men, takes a wrong turn and find themselves in a hunt that shows them as the prey, to redneck hunters seeking to trap, and prep them for an open season of rape and death. Now, add it a threats of a tribe of Vikings massacring people in the area for both pride and food, while another beast roams the forest for a feeding frenzy.
However, this movie is not for every diehard horror fan, especially since some scenes reflect on a mixture of Pulp Fiction meeting Hillside Cannibals while choosing sides from reenactments of Deliverance (1972), which is correct, the squeal scene in a more colorful manner for the rednecks that sadly missed a few steps in the evolution path. Some viewers, especially men, who are not confident in their sexuality may not want to view this movie, as exploitation occurs only to men, but unlike I Spit On Your Grave (1978) rape scenes never contain nudity only suggesting the barbarous actions. Again showing both a double standard and knowing the marketing of the film could never handle that penetration (pun intended) with the male audience, although in drama movies such as The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and the infamous television series OZ showed the merciless brutality to men very clearly. The movie delves into the deeper meaning of societies tendencies to create isolated groups, whether that is a hunting party, murderous villains, or even a ‘click’ from school, each have a core value, or allegiance to itself, hence transcending the evolution scale and showing primordial existence in the mind of most individuals.
Reed presents an entertaining conceptual piece of horror with true cinematography, creating editing and angles, providing great homage scenes back to the slasher genre and while not perfect, it provides an impact of shock and awe for the gore, with practical effect gushing and splattering with fantastic delights. The only truly and obvious shot in the movie comes from a green screen in the car, honestly no way to overlook, however the causal viewer might stay unaware as if the actors knew of the problem and carefully and skillful hammed up their acting in situation. In addition the dark humor references male rape, lends definitely impolite position and yet it adds to the creative madness of the characters especially when involving Officer Girth (Matt Hish), Reed also stars in his madness of filmmaking as the character Bags.
A highly recommended film for every twisted sick demented horror fan, requiring the influx of gore, guts, and more gore, this movie contains so many wonderful aspects, as it stands out among the other numerous backwoods horror flicks, which the count surpasses 200 films, but Reed delivers the unapologetic horror served with extra helpings of slaughtering and bloodshed. Those fans familiar with Ryan Nicholson, Jared Masters, and Adam Ahlbrandt, will comprehended the horrific acts often located in Hershell Gordon Lewis’ movies for example Bloodmania (2017) and harshness of humanity from Cannibal Holocaust (1980). Now if one is ready join the trip to Hampshire and venture into the American Backwoods to discover the resources of man’s nature predatory and animalistic desires.
This review was originally published on Rogue Cinemas now defunct website in July 2016.
- In June of 1994, one of the most brutal mass slaughters in history occurred in the woods of northern New England. Four months later, history is about to repeat itself.
- Something cold, something blue, something sorrowed, something slew.
- Live Free Or Die. Death is Not the Worst of Evils.
- “Not till we are completely lost or turned ’round do we appreciate the vastness and strangeness of nature.” – Thoreau
- Backwoods Motherf*ckery.
- Death Is Not The Worst Of Evils
- A local rite goes frightfully wrong when a group of teenage boys encounters a sinister hunting party, a bloodthirsty tribe and a mythical beast in the backwoods of New Hampshire.
IMDb Rating: 4.5/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10