Four more films…and not much in the way of good news.
THE ABANDONED (2006)
The Abandoned has a fairly creepy setup; a woman returns to Russia when she is informed that the home of her parents has been found. When she gets to the house, which is on a small island by itself, she meets a guy who claims he is her long lost brother. Soon, they are running for their lives from ghostly/demonic versions of themselves that are determined to keep them there forever.
Despite the film being a visually eerie experience and incredibly atmospheric, it just didn’t grab me. I think for me it got too weighed down by the plot, which drags the truth about the past experiences of the brother and sister into their current situation. This causes the movie to start running around in circles just like the characters. I guess I just can’t relate to people going through a midlife crisis and struggling to find out the truth about their childhood.
Now had The Abandoned involved a bunch of horny teens being chased by their demonic doppelgangers…my adolescent ADHD would have been temporarily cured.
Nailbiter has such potential but the slow build doesn’t really build, it kind of just sits still for an hour before something exciting finally happens.
This woman in AA takes her daughters to pick up military daddy at the airport. On the way, a tornado hits so they take shelter in a cellar of a seemingly abandoned house. But wait. There’s someone home…and this nice sweet family has a secret relative stashed in the basement.
For about an hour, mom and daughters try to get out of the basement. Even a cute chubby deputy cub (in a tight wet uniform) comes along and tries to help.
You can imagine how that turns out.
When the monster finally attacks, it’s pretty cool looking.
The action speeds up quickly after that, and the last half hour saves the film from being a total bust. It really feels like two different movies. As the main girl (who resembles scream queen Shawnee Smith) battles it out with the crazy family…her daddy finally receives her desperate tweets at the airport. Could this mean Nailbiter 2: Chew on the Other Hand?
BARRIO TALES (2012)
This “horror” anthology never really lives up to its grindhouse look and feel. It’s also more of a revenge flick than horror, focusing heavily on the shitty treatment of Latinos by privileged Americans. Warning to all racist white people—you don’t win the border war at all in this movie.
The wraparound features two white kids who come to Mexico looking for a party—and come across a man by a campfire who spins some cautionary tales about coming to Barrio….
Because this film is such a letdown, I’m pretty much going to spoil every story.
A spoiled rich kid is given an entire mansion to party in over the summer. He brings along his friends and they say arrogant, ignorant shit to young Maria, his maid. Maria claims her grandmother somehow knows how she’s feeling at all times.
In a moment of total lameness, one of the kids throws Maria in the pool and she hits her head. The best part of this segment is that he immediately calls his mommy, hoping she’ll make things all better. Guess she didn’t, because next thing you know, they’ve apparently buried the body, and Maria’s grandma back in Mexico is chanting about them never seeing, hearing, or talking again. And we get to see them all discovering that they can’t. That’s it. YAWN!
“Uncle Tio’s Taco Truck”
Remember Ice Cream Man with Clint Howard? Well, Uncle Tio does the same thing with tacos. A bunch of kids are on to what he’s stuffing in his tacos, so he kills a bunch of them. Finally, the lone girl in the group kills him and walks away. That’s it. YAWN.
A bunch of Mexicans are picked up by some cute rednecks to do a day’s work. Instead, the rednecks tie them up and start slaughtering them one by one. But the Mexicans manage to get away and it becomes a simple revenge flick. The white trash (the Mexicans refer to them as such) keep talking about their scary daddy. I don’t know what the big deal is. He’s just a big grunting lumberjack looking dude. The Mexicans shoot him. That’s it. YAWN.
Back to the wraparound. The two kids get killed. That’s it. YAWN.
KNOCK KNOCK 2 (2011)
Knock Knock 2 apparently has nothing to do with the first one, which was a slasher (I’ve not seen it). Knock Knock 2 is also nothing more than a step-by-step demonstration of how to make the most basic of cheap found footage flicks.
A bunch of kids decides to visit all the houses in Hollywood where famous people met horrible and violent ends. The front yards of numerous houses are visited and we get stories of the passing of real life celebrities.
Finally, the kids sneak into a house. They get separated, there’s one scene in which the kid’s light goes out, flickers, we see a demon-eyed girl behind him for a second…and eventually he discover his friends are dead and calls for help. In the middle of the call, he makes it clear that someone has approached him, and he gets slammed up against the lens. The end.
If these films get slapped together on a 4-on-1 DVD combo pack for 5 bux…wait until someone who bought it is giving it away.