I finally got to see this movie and I was a bit, just a bit, disappointed that it wasn't that much of a return to "old school horror." Granted, it had some of the story lines, gore, killers and back-story of a good ol' 80s or 90s slasher, psycho killer story, but it wasn't. Instead, it provided me with an excellent source of entertainment as well as a good movie to watch when I need the time to pass. This movie had some okay acting, great gory effects, an ill-constructed set and a great overall technical side to it. In my opinion, I think that Victor Crowley might just squeeze himself into the line of Fred Krueger, Jason Voorhees or Michael Meyers, but the only way he'd be able to do that is if this movie gets a huge cult following by fans of the teen slasher genre.
The acting in this movie was okay. I didn't expect much from Joel Moor after Dodgeball, but Tamara Feldman, Deon Richmond, Perry Shen and Joel Murray did a fantastic job. I was so happy to see Richard Riehle, from Office Space, in this movie and even more thrilled to see him teamed up with Patrika Darbo, of Madhouse, to form the perfect stereotypical tourist hick. They were extremely funny and brought a sense of humor and comic relief to the story. Perry Shen, with his intentionally poor rendition of an American accent provided even more humor to the story. However, Joleigh Fiorevanti and Mercedes McNab, who played the two ditzy armature porn starts, made this movie laughable in a bad way. In other words, their performances were horrible. Joel Moor cannot do a good horror movie because it looks like he's about to laugh right in the middle of a scene, and I think that he should stick with comedy, because he seems more natural at it.
The gore in this movie was amazing and extremely violent, however when it comes to scares, this movie does not deliver. The gore in this movie is at a prime and serves us a great dish of horrible hatchet killings, dismembering, neck breaking and a scene when somebody's spine was removed. The blood effect is rather exaggerated a bit; examples include a close up of a stream of blood dramatically splashing against a tree in moonlight. There is a great creature design to Crowley, but again, it was too exaggerated and seemed very close to a mutant from The Hills Have Eyes. The "scare" factor of this movie isn't really all that mesmerizing nor is it all that scary. I see that they tried, with good intentions, to have a creepy voice howl the word "daddy" but it backfired when the voiced seemed too distorted and unrecognizable. When Vic pops out of nowhere, it's almost too campy and way to random, very close and almost comparable to that of a Scooby Doo show where the villain pops out of the middle of the group and yells, but doesn't make an attempt to kill. I guess I was expecting a bit more "jump-out" scares rather than a lot of gore.
As for the set and the technical aspects of this film, I would say that the set is a work in progress and the lighting, camera angles and editing are some of the best things about this film. The set, aside from the obvious on-location to Baton Rouge and a pretty good everglade set, was not that good and I knew right away that it was in a cramped movie studio with plastic and or real plants. The reason why and how I noticed this was because they kept reusing the same set, just a different camera angle to disguise the fact it is recycled. Though the lighting in this film was very professional and really dramatic. It gave me the senses of fear and the unknown, and only a few areas there were some lights, but only that bounced off of the leaves. The camera angles were very well crafted including the close-ups of the blood splatter, the quick tracking shots and the establishing shots all contributed a great deal of professionalism.
All in all, this was a fun little movie with some okay acting, some great gore, but not that many real scares. It was one of those movies where you don't have to watch it on the big screen, rather watch them in your home entertainment room. It's a great movie to pass the time, and should not, at any stretch of the imagination, be taken as a serious and landmark masterpiece in modern horror. It is debatable of whether or not it is old school, I don't think so, but that's my opinion. I will recommend the viewing audience to watch this movie while having a cold soda and eating pizza, it'll make the day seem a lot better.
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