The place is Helverton, Colorado, a town of about 350,000 people. 15-year-old Genevieve Gage and her best friend Tiana Moore are typical teenagers who spend a lot of time surfing the ... See full summary »
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Cody Blue Snider
The place is Helverton, Colorado, a town of about 350,000 people. 15-year-old Genevieve Gage and her best friend Tiana Moore are typical teenagers who spend a lot of time surfing the internet and sending messages to strangers in chat rooms. Upon "meeting" another apparent student who goes by the screen name of Captain Howdy, Genevieve and Tiana decide to attend a party at Captain Howdy's house. As it turns out, Captain Howdy has lured them into a darkness from which there may be no permanent escape. But what Captain Howdy doesn't know is that Genevieve's father is local cop Mike Gage. When neither Genevieve nor Tiana has returned home by the next morning, Genevieve's mother Toni alerts Mike. With the help of a younger cop named Steve Christian, Mike tries to find Genevieve and Tiana. Things take an unexpected turn when Tiana's car is pulled out of a lake, and Tiana's tortured body is found in the car's trunk, with her mouth stitched shut. There's no sign of Genevieve. Mike discovers ... Written by
Dee Snider makes at least two references to co-star Robert Englund's most famous character Freddy Krueger. First is as Carleton Hendricks recovers from his fall from the tree. As he sits up he says, "What a rush" in a very passable "Freddy" voice, one of the many one-liners uttered by Freddy Krueger during the series. The second reference is when he's fighting Detective Gage in the church. He says, "First you dream, then you die," a reference to the plot of the Freddy Krueger/A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) series. See more »
The first female victim in the car's trunk is bloated and wet from having been submerged for at least several days yet the blanket that she was wrapped in during that time is completely dry and shows no signs of having been under water at all. See more »
"Strangeland" isn't that bad if it features fears of yours.
Genevieve Gage, (Linda Cardellini) is just the latest in a series of disappearances plaguing a small town. Her father Mike (Kevin Gage) just happens to be the detective on the case, and his partner Steve Christian, (Brett Harrelson) convinces him to check out a club that specializes in piercing and scarification, which is also the secret hideout for Captain Howdy, (Dee Snider) also known as Carleton Hendricks, who is the suspected cause of the disappearances. With the help of his cousin Angela Stravelli, (Amy Smart) Captain Howdy is caught and brought to justice. After a couple years in an insane asylum, he gets released back into the community, and a local militia group led by Jackson Roth, (Robert Englund) kidnap him and leave him for dead. When new evidence confirms that he may not be dead, Detective Gage tries harder than before to stop him.
The Good News: As it gets more and more commonplace for people to chat online and in instant messaging, the fact that this one was the first out of the gate to show the potential evils and dangers of the situation is a nice and original approach. Even though it deviates from it towards the end, the original set-up is pretty great. The ending is also pretty great and pretty exciting, with a great bit of action in there as well. Most of the focus on this film is the discomfort one gets when exposed to extreme forms of scaring and skin piercing, and it is a subject most get uncomfortable viewing. This is mostly played out in the psychical form of Captain Howdy, who does look pretty creepy. His look, though, drives the film, so I won't spoil it, but it is a really disturbing and shocking look that will definitely get you a little crept out the first time his full appearance is shown.
The Bad News: This film basically relies on the belief that extreme piercing, full-body tattoos and scaring are scary images for the average person. If none of them are scary or frightening, then most of the film's power will be lost. Besides that, there really isn't a whole else in the film. It's not a traditional horror film in the slasher sense, so for some it can be quite boring, as there's no real jumps, suspense or anything similar.
The Final Verdict: If any of the acts or ideas featured in this one are fears of yours, this could be a pretty scary film. If not, this can be a pretty dull experience. Otherwise, it's pretty middle of he road and pretty forgettable. Use your own judgment to determine if you will like this one or not.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Nudity, some Language, a brief sex scene, scenes of torture and extreme images of body modification
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