Written and directed by Joseph Mazzaferro
This is an independent movie from a filmmaker based in Florida which used to be my home base. I know the producer and two actors in the movie. I say this because folks need to know what potential bias might be there as I review this film. I like to focus on independent filmmakers. I don't judge on a curve based on this fact. I feel like that does a disservice to them growing as filmmakers.
I did not like this movie. I should let you know a bit about what it's about. Plot summaries also aren't my cup of tea. But in this case I'll do a quick one. I know breaking my own rules. I'm a devious rulebreaker. Okay back to it, the movie is about a young couple who travel to a vacant lot in a neighborhood kind of far from the main hub of the city to do some late night necking. Well that lot ain't so vacant. It turns out a giant monster of a man who is a cannibal and murders people resides there. He traps them in their car much like the plot of Cujo. There's some torture and some inane plot twists and a lot of filler and ta da you have Scathing.
Let me tout some positives. The gore effects in this movie are top notch. It looks realistic and it works for the moments of shock value. The killer is imposing. He has a good look and his work is really well done. Allie Sparks has some decent moments. She plays the character well even if the character is super annoying.I love Lisa Arcaro in pretty much anything she does and she makes good use of limited screen time. Everyone else aren't really in the movie long enough to develop more than a passing fancy of set characteristics. In most slasher movies, this is par for the course. But with the boyfriend, this felt like a waste of a character. They're stuck in their car for a majority of screen time. You couldn't develop some character there.
I get that it's meant to feel a lot like Cujo but where that worked because of the rabid dog and the small boy, it doesn't work here. This killer had to never sleep ever. He spends a large amount of time torturing and mutilating someone that they could have run. This brings me to the end. I'm not going to spoil it because I'm not that kind of guy. It really negated everything that came before it. It tries for some kind of shocking twist but it falls flat and only left me scratching my head. The movie is also really dark and muddled. The color correction is pretty obvious but it also makes things hard to see and follow for this reason.
I enjoy independent cinema and I support filmmakers continuing to get better. But I have to be honest when I see something that I just don't like. I didn't like Scathing. It had a weak script that revelled in cliches and not enough character development before the depravity starts. It's not scary. It wallows in gore however well done that may be. It is frustrating in bad ways. I give this movie an F.
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