Masked killers, a satanic cult, and some crazy bitches

With time to kill on the long New Year’s weekend, I lined up movies old and new…so here’s a look at four newer films I’d never seen before…including a New Year’s Eve flick to add to the holiday horror page!

TRIANGLE (2009)

Christopher Smith, the director of Severance and Creep, brings us a very different film with Triangle. Although there’s a killer wearing a sack, this isn’t merely a slasher. This is a major psychological thriller.

There are some slasher elements here—a group’s boat capsizes and they board what appears to be an abandoned cruise ship.

But someone is watching in the shadows, and pretty soon they’re being picked off one by one…mostly by a shotgun!

Disappointingly, the fast pace causes the intriguing premise to be revealed rather quickly, so we know what’s going on all along as one of the friends—horror queen Melissa George—is caught in a sort of Groundhog’s Day. Not that we understand why, which is what keeps us watching.

Problem is, continuing to watch just makes matters worse. A bunch of new stuff is suddenly thrown at us at the very end of the movie and it just left me scratching my head.

#SCREAMERS (2016)

This found footage film was a freebie on the Blu-ray of The Monster Project, so it wasn’t a film I sought out. On the bright side, it does have gay character, so I can add another one to the die, gay guy, die! page.

However, this is one of those found footage films in which absolutely nothing happens for the first hour. In fact it reminds me of To Jennifer, in that they’re both about a guy who drags his friends on a road trip to find a girl.

Here, two guys who run an Internet business become obsessed with finding out the origins of those cheap shocker videos that lull you into a false sense of security before scaring you with a screaming face. They also have a gay black dude filming the whole thing, most of which involves them watching more videos and following up on leads.

One guy narrows it down to trying to track down a girl walking through a peaceful cemetery in one of the videos. Wouldn’t you know it leads them to a seemingly abandoned house in the middle of nowhere.

You can basically predict exactly how it’s all going to go down in the last twenty minutes. There are okay moments of creepy atmosphere and jump scares, and I do like the twist on how those videos come to be. My big issue with the film is a scene in which one guy tells the cameraman to stay in a creepy room while he goes to check on something…and the cameraman waits! I’m sorry, but no black and/or gay guy would be dumb enough to do that.

THE DEMONOLOGIST (2018)

Oh boy. It kills me that, well, Brian Krause of the original Charmed is even in this one. Imagine the lamest and cheesiest of SyFy occult series…and it’s probably still better than this film.

I guess Krause’s name in the cast is what scored The Demonologist a distribution deal. There’s just nothing fresh, unique, or scary here.

It’s hard to take it seriously because the satanic cult he’s up against as a detective isn’t even slightly ominous (their scenes feel like something from a no budget, straight-to-video flick of the 90s).

The cult infiltrates Krause’s dreams and his life, but we’ve seen it before. He ends up in some cheesy CGI fire situations.

There’s is a pretty cool demon, and perhaps if there were more of him—and if the film was shorter—I would have been a bit more entertained.

Although this part held my attention.

I really think that only the performances of Krause and the guy playing his partner make this feel somewhat elevated above the level it comes in on. Unfortunately, the uninspired dialogue they are given takes it right back down.  

INTO THE DARK: NEW YEAR, NEW YOU (2018)

The latest installment of the Into the Dark series on Hulu is like the Mean Girls of New Year’s Eve thrillers.

A small group of female friends is gathering to ring in the New Year together, and while things seem fun at first—revelations about their successes and failures, talks about sex, partying, dancing—as soon as they start playing “Never Have I Ever,” the claws come out.

In fact, once the overly long girl talk ends (although it does clearly establish the deal with each girl), this turns into a nonstop, suspenseful catfight…with sharp objects.

Shit gets out of hand, the lights go out, and the girls turn on each other in a battle to the death. My kind of New Year’s Eve party, and probably one of the more entertaining episodes of the series so far.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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