You might not know her name, but you’ve probably seen at least one of Alexandra Holden’s movies from the new millennium.
Like most horror films that run longer than an hour and a half, Wishcraft shouldn’t. Shave ten minutes off and it would be better paced. But it’s still a fun product of the post-Scream slasher era.
A geek receives a mysterious relic in the mail that will grant him three wishes. Naturally, he wishes for the love of Alexandra Holden, one of the hottest girls in school, who already has a hot boyfriend (the gay cheerleader from Bring It On). The wish is granted, but kids also begin getting mutilated by a freaky-faced killer wearing a hooded robe.
The kills are great and gory, Meat Loaf stars as a detective, and Zelda Rubinstein of Poltergeist appears as a mortician. While the plot is pretty formulaic and the film is a typical teen slasher (never a bad thing), the reveal of the killer’s motivations and the way the three wishes play into it give this one a bit of a twist.
DEAD END (2003)
Dead End is an absolute classic about a family driving to grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve. When they pick up a distressed woman in white carrying her baby on a dark, deserted road, strange Twilight Zone shit starts happening.
Imagine stretching that dark road scene from In the Mouth of Madness into a full-length movie of its own and you have Dead End. Tensions between the family—mother, father, son, daughter, and daughter’s boyfriend—begin to intensify as they travel and encounter various troubles that force them to stop. And each time they do, a member of the family goes missing and is then seen trapped in a black car that drives by. Eerie as fuck!
Horror icon Lin Shaye is fantastic as the mother, giving one of her absolute best performances ever. Add brilliant Ray Wise as the father and Dead End delivers the perfect dose of dark humor. Even so, Alexandra Holden as the daughter is essentially the final girl in this supernatural creepfest.
A DEAD CALLING (aka: The Calling) (2006)
The opening scene of this film is pretty damn awesome. Alexandra is a reporter attacked by an intruder. She gets away, but the trauma leads to her moving back home with her parents, who happen to be The Devil’s Rejects alum Sid Haig and Leslie Easterbrook. It’s all downhill from there!
Alexandra takes a reporting job at a local paper, run by a cutie with white hair. He gives her an assignment covering an old mansion. She breaks in to it a few times and sees ghostly murders. Bill Moseley comes on the scene as the sheriff, because apparently ghost murders aren’t the only thing going on there. An actual murderer has returned!
As Alexandra and her cute boss come closer to the truth and continue returning to the mansion where a killer is known to reside, Sid Haig suddenly starts delivering humorous lines and a ghost in the old mansion tries to help Alexandra escape the killer. The various plot twists don’t make this one any better.
DARK REEL (2008)
Dark Reel is an odd, quirky supernatural slasher that would have been better if it had been—you guessed it—shorter! I’d say fifteen minutes off this one would have helped.
Edward Furlong is at his most likeable here. He wins a walk-on role on a film starring his favorite actress, played by Tiffany Shepis. Meanwhile, members of the oddball cast and crew start to die at the hands of a killer in a wig and creepy mask. During filming, Edward is convinced he’s seeing the ghost of an old time actress (played by Alexandra Holden). So he and Tiffany research the actress to see what ties she might have to the current murders.
The center of the film lags badly and the ghost part is a bit hokey (especially visually). A majority of the slashing excitement (and the body count) picks up in the last few minutes after a faux conclusion, and it’s gory good. It’s the best part of the film and should have been incorporated into the main plot all along. Not to mention, the story’s resemblance to that of Scream 3 is kind of ridiculous, especially since Lance Henriksen plays pretty much the exact same role in both films.
Other cast members include Candyman Tony Todd, as well as scream queen Mercedes McNab of the Hatchet films, who also played Harmony on Buffy and Angel. Love her.