PRIME TIME BITCH: when friends get together and shit falls apart

I’m always checking out the constant influx of horror flicks that hit Prime since it gets tons of new horror almost daily, unlike Netflix and Hulu. Here’s how things turned out with this latest triple feature.

FIRST HOUSE ON THE HILL (2017)

The challenge here is to not refer to this one as The Last House on the Hill or First House on the Left.

I love that First House on the Hill is a throwback to 80s Euro horror. I just feel like it doesn’t go far enough in delivering on its tone and atmosphere.

The intro credits are misleading and do a disservice to what comes next. The music sounds like something from a bad 1970s film, and the footage is just stills of the main character.

It gets better after that, with the spacey feel of Euro horror, complete with a totally 80s Euro horror soundtrack used at all the inappropriate times, just like the classics of Euro horror.

The main girl gets a special necklace from a priest before departing for a stay at a house with some friends.

Umberto Celisano from The Changing of Ben Moore steals the show as the horny comic relief, and long time scream queen Helene Udy (My Bloody Valentine, Incubus, 3 Wicked Witches) plays the mysterious woman hosting them.

There are great Euro horror camera angles, Tarot cards, a few cool death scenes, a trippy chase, some demon eye moments, and lots of Argento lighting, but the film definitely doesn’t ramp up as much as you might expect from a film mimicking classic Euro horror.

13/13/13 (2013)

 

Of all the James Cullen Bressack films I’ve seen so far, I’m still waiting for one that’s truly unique rather than leaning towards derivative. 13/13/13 is essentially The Crazies on acid, because it splits into two very different perspectives on the infection, which is actually kind of cool.

Guys at a camp (including a cutie bear) are discussing urban legends when one the sizzling hot main guy’s military watch gets stuck at 13:13.

The group heads home and the main guy’s wife crazies out.

She ends up in a hospital in room 13, which is where the plot reveals its split personality.

The friends stay at the house and begin to lose their shit, giving us a unique perspective on the typical “crazies” plot by having us stick with main characters as they turn.

Meanwhile, the main guy is stuck at the hospital where people are also losing their shit.

There’s plenty of blood and violence as he and a woman he meets try to get out of the hospital and back to the house.

Personally, I’m a big fan of a scene with a muscle stud terrorizing them in a parking garage.

As you can imagine, it’s very fatalistic when they finally reach the house…

RED FORREST (2018)

The coolest thing about Red Forrest IS the red forest, but the reason I watched was because there’s a cute bear in the trailer.

As an added bonus, it turns out the killer is also a cute bear. I’d like to see the two of them do a movie together called Red SorreAss.

When a low budget film opens in 1495, it’s inevitably going to be obvious it’s a low budget film…dudes in costume store chain mail, white Indians, a priest attacked for forcing his religion down their throat…awesome, if only that were the way history actually played out.

In the modern day, friends celebrating a birthday go up to the spot in the woods where the priest was killed.

The group pulls the usual scare pranks and talks about the legend, a trio including the birthday boy’s sister, father, and uncle follows them to make sure they’re safe, and there are flashbacks to the occult powers that got hold of the priest in 1495.

The priest finally attacks 50 minutes in, yet despite coming from 1495, he acts all snarky like Freddy Krueger.

The encounter scenes (usually in groups) are so cheesy (one looks like it’s filmed in a really cheap cabin set), but did I mention there are two cute bears in the film?

The bizarr-o dad is also a stud muffin, but you have to wait until after the closing credits start rolling to see his hotness really steam up the lens.

I know filmmakers can’t determine which performances are going to steal the show when they start making their movie, but in hindsight, if this film had featured more of the whacky dad battling the snarky priest, this would have been an instant classic.

 

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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