PRIME TIME: Let’s Not Meet or we’ll get Fractured by the Ghastlies

It’s time for a mini smorgasbord of new stuff that just hit Prime. What do they have in common? They all recently hit Prime. Otherwise, it’s a variety: an 80s critter flick spoof, a home invasion flick, and a backwoods slasher. And I was entertained by all of it.

GHASTLIES (2016)

The director of Raiders of the Lost Shark and Attack of the Jurassic Shark brings us a goofy fun throwback to the 80s era of Gremlins, Critters, Ghoulies, Munchies, and Hobgoblins. This movie is exactly what it’s supposed to be, so if you watch it and think it’s awful or stupid, then there’s really no hope for you.

This is how you start a movie. A cult is doing a ritual sacrifice in a barn when a spacious from another planet lands nearby…

When we’re informed that it’s “present day,” we are immediately catapulted back to the 80s, from the music to a chick doing aerobics and referencing Jane Fonda while wearing a “Let’s get physical” top. So it’s no surprise the entire score is 80s synthtastic.

A group of girls goes to a cabin in the woods.

Naturally, the boys show up, and naturally they all begin getting attacked by funny little creatures that I would describe as Munchies meets Fraggle Rock.

Their little giggles of glee cracked me up, and the attacks are just as funny, especially thanks to the reactions of the actors.

And while it’s goofy spoofy as the puppets snack on victims, the movie even dares to throw in some campy good gore.

Highlights include a nod to an iconic Gremlins moment, a girl saying “gag me with a spoon,” and a hottie in his undies.

FRACTURED (2018)

If you’re a home invasion fan, this one is short but sweet, just like my thoughts on it.

There’s a very The Strangers vibe as a couple vacations in a house and we get to see that they are being watched.

It is the girl who first starts to become uneasy, and the slow build up is quite effective and tense.

Plus you get to see the guy shirtless during a sex scene that results in what I found to be the most unnerving moment of the film.

But what makes this standout and gives it a unique twist is that you actually get to experience the home invasion from the perspective of two different characters, which ensures two very different interpretations of the events that unfold.

LET’S NOT MEET (2018)

As indie horror films go, this one has a lot going for it…with one major flaw. It’s an hour and 54 fricking minutes long. Argh! I want to sob. Just another of many otherwise good indie efforts that is going to lose people before it’s over because it simply wasn’t reevaluated for length and pacing before release. Eliminating the “dead air” moments between scenes and dialogue exchanges alone could have tightened up the flow.

Otherwise, there’s plenty of positive going on here, including some tight slasher sequences as well as a unique approach to the usual kids in woods get chased by killer plot.

It seems rather random when a group of friends has pizza delivered by a girl they knew back in school—and didn’t exactly get along with—before they go camping in the woods. After they sit around a fire talking about a local legend of a cult killer back from the dead, it’s no surprise that a dark form starts terrorizing them.

Meanwhile, the pizza girl is still delivering pizzas. She happens upon a home invasion in a tense scene, and is soon being hunted by the invader.

So how the hell is this all going to come together? You find out eventually, and it’s a pretty clever twist to have two threats causing the main cast problems, but there is a lot of filler before we get to the point.

However, there are also some good chills and thrills along the way. The film is light on the gore, and there are moments where you really have to suspended disbelief (for instance, they get away from the girl and take shelter in…a tent???), but there are also some nicely effective scenes, like one in which the cutie of the group gets out of a bear trap that is suddenly dragged away as he’s nursing his wound.

Seriously, actor Carmine Giordano, the cutie of the group, is a fricking doll and no stranger to indie horror.

Plus, the reveal of the face of the dark figure chasing them in the woods is unexpected and awesome.

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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