Axeman at Cutter's Creek (2013)
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The actors didn't seem to fit the story line, which again didn't really make much sense anyway. A bunch of adults dressing and acting like teenagers - they may as well have had teenage actors and made it a general slasher horror flick. At first I thought they were meant to be in high school but as I was watching, I was realising how old they looked, then one of them mentioned something about "when they were in college" - hinting they are their late 20s. The actors were OK but overacted at times.
The camera work was rubbish, jumping all over the place randomly, if it was on purpose they didn't do it enough to make it obvious - it just seemed like really bad camera work and they just couldn't be bothered to fix it/re-shoot it.
Also the sound on this movie was horrible. you could hear every little thing, especially when they were sitting on the beds or something, you could hear the bed creaking beneath them - this is just one example.
I did think it was cool how they seemed to take inspiration from "Friday 13th" or something similar with the way they shot the movie: how the stabbing was not shown etc - I'm not sure if that was intentional though or just the product of a really low budget.
Overall really bad movie, waste of my time.
A college reunion is booked at the same cabin in the woods as the first killings. The college crowd has played musical chairs with their partners and now are on their second round, with first round losers still holding grudges, everyone seems to love and hate everyone as the film goes into insult mode for the grossly immature. Why they had to walk to the cabin when there is a road that goes up to the driveway is not really explained. The group consists of a lot of hard bodies and a fat guy (Nihilist Gelo) with a camera. Plot spoiler...the black guys doesn't die first (Joston Theney). They are all unlikable and none really qualify as "the final girl." My money was on Tammy (Jamie Bernadette). The $4 million or whatever the amount is still laying around outside in the same non-weathered bag, as Bill appears to have no use for the money, other than to let people find it, thinking they got it made and then get a knife jabbed in them (the actually killing weapon of choice and not an axe.) At 28 minutes into the film we get a verbal description of the opening scene that was really awful narration...thank you Stephen Eith for droning your lines.
This may have some appeal to the younger crowd who enjoy sexually oriented insults that could use more creativity.
Guide: F-word, sex, nudity (Elissa Dowling, Erin Marie Hogan)
The story created to bring the "Axeman" to life is just as described by the director, "a return to old school horror". The premise is a classic set up that made 80's horror completely watchable as visceral horror. There is a slight late 90's "too cool for this" micro-vibe that kicks off the story and echo's through some of the characters which is a nice, refreshing component. Not sure if that was intended or it just happened incidentally but I enjoyed it. There isn't a lot of complexity to "Axeman" playing out as far as story layers but the character build, dramatic situations created by dialog ties in some emotional depth to the film.
The cast are all pretty straight acting, recognizable indie horror actors who give convincible performances, some a bit more than others, but all give decent, recognizable performances that bring the characters to life. The film does carry a lot of dialog that adds way more dramatic interactions that I, personally, like to see in my visceral slaughterfests, but since the acting never really falters I still found "Axeman" entertaining and the story held my interest. The direction style, and skill is a worthy vision that is executed amiably. I am sure more intense horror fans may find flaws in depth and continuity of story arch or some other issues with the concept but for me "Axeman" creates a cool, intimidating new killer, fun, thrilling nightmare.
"Axeman" uses some cool, if not somewhat expected, special effects- sometimes working wonderfully, a few times it fails, but often the kills, and gore are totally dope. I have to give a "tisk tisk" to CGI blood effects in a few scenes and mention a red flag to one kill set up, (I can't be specific without spoiling it for others but most will notice it in the film), CGI splatter is a nail in my spine that is more common and very cost effective but lacks the excitement and personality that practical fluid provides. That being said the majority of the kills, blood and gore are very much practical and taken serious, completed nicely. The sound effects and music are standard, desired effects that add atmosphere and energy to the film which carries the story and suspense effortlessly. I found it pleasing, and complementary to Theney's intended vision for "Axeman".
Overall "Axeman" is a fine modern horror, offering both classic feel and current elements, to a set-up that works. The film gives us a new, slasher of gigantic stature, emphatic stoicism, and brutality. The kills are a mix of classic, and creative, "slice-n-dice" moments demanded in slasher horror. I felt very emotional over one specific death/ character recognition scene in the film, (without spoiling it: one scene had some amazing emotional connectivity that overflowed beyond the screen as a character died and another watched in horror), very compelling and intense. Really "Axeman" minus the few flaws gives us a cool, modern horror film that is soon to be in slasher fans collections. Plus the ending pretty much promises a sequel to come! "Axeman" lends itself to my- "watch it" horror film list.
I've seen some of his other stuff and had some high hopes coming in because of the hype behind it. It didn't live up to the hype but it was still worth the rental.
It gave me a naked lady. Some creative kills. Some blood. Cool decapitation. And a good storyline that involved some pretty relatable victims.
The sound could've been better. I mean - a lot better. And in some scenes it seemed a bit rushed. But overall, a good addition to the slasher genre.
I look forward to seeing what he can do with a real budget. And why did you have to kill the funny guy so soon?! Don't do that next time!