SCARE WARS: slashers, aliens, and vampires

Seems like with each of these mini blog battles of movies I’m crossing off my “to-see” list, there’s going to always be at least one in the bunch that I need to add to my personal film library. Let’s see which one it is this time.

SPARROW (2010)

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Running just 72 minutes long, Sparrow starts strong; an entire group of young campers gets sliced and diced in the opener, complete with plenty of POV right out of Friday the 13th and a killer with a nasty little laugh (but no mask).

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I wish I could say the momentum keeps building. It’s almost as if we were given an upfront body count to make up for the fact that nothing major happens for most of the film. When the main group comes camping, they mostly fight about relationships, and there’s a soccer montage that lasts almost 10 minutes in total.

sparrow hottie

It’s kind of worth it though, because the guy with the best bod plays shirtless – and for straight guys, there’s a girl-on-girl kiss. I mean…for lesbians, there’s a girl-on-girl kiss. Yeah, that’s it. For lesbians.

sparrow belly

But none of the main players is killed. No one even sneaks off to explore alone (aka: get killed). In an effort to fix the pacing of the kills, we literally get a caption reading “Meanwhile, somewhere else in the woods…” at one point just so a random couple having sex can be hacked to pieces (cool kill scene, though).

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Ironically, all the good old slashing and body reveals are packed into the last 13 minutes, but the survivors do things that are beyond stupid.

sparrow boy kneelFile under “kill scene that comes across as oddly erotic…”

For instance, girl refuses to run over killer with vehicle for fear of running over friend killer just slaughtered and dropped on the ground, yet as killer reaches under hood to sabotage vehicle so it will stall, girl doesn’t even bother to GO IN REVERSE to get away.

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On top of that, there’s one of those abrupt endings, and we never learn why exactly every murder this dark, sinister, angry psycho commits is followed by an evil little chuckle.

BLOOD TRAP (2015)

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Blood Trap has a lot going for it. There’s plenty of action and horror, a perfect “haunted house” atmosphere, and enough quirkiness for it to score some horror comedy points. It’s just that not one single aspect ever seems to take itself over the finish line. Argh!

blood trap cast

No time is wasted in getting the characters into their predicament. Costas Mandylor (Saw franchise) gathers a small group of the best criminals to help him with a job breaking into a building and kidnapping a woman.

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But as soon as they do, the house goes into automatic lockdown mode and they can’t get out. The woman they kidnapped disappears. And they begin to find some really weird signs that things are not right in this building, like a room full of babies…and a room full of body parts.

blood trap half head

Double argh! Blood Trap should be so gooooood. There are some funny moments, brutal kills, a lollipop sucking granny monster with her tits hanging out and a hunger for blood, plus hot pretty boy Drew Kenney gets shirtless and tied up before all is said and done.

blood trap bound 2

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It appears he was a contestant on The Bachelorette, but should stick to acting because he’s awesome and my favorite character in the film.

blood trap elevator

The bizarrely schizo (and so annoying) soundtrack attempts to keep up with the constantly shifting tone of the film’s avante-garde style, which can make for a wild ride full of surprises when it comes to horror (think Witching & Bitching), but never seems to totally gel here. I feel the need to watch Blood Trap again in hopes that my initial assessment was off and I actually love it. Why do I have this funny feeling there are going to be two films from this blog that end up on my DVD shelf?

WELCOME TO WILLITS (2016)

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Welcome to Willits has a cool horror cast: Bill Sage (We Are What We Are, Fender Bender, The Boy), Chris Zylka (Freaks of Nature, Piranha 3DD, Shark Night 3D, My Super Psycho Sweet 16 franchise), Anastasia Baranova of Z Nation, Thomas Dekker (Fear Clinic, A Nightmare on Elm Street remake, Laid to Rest franchise, All About Evil), Rory Culkin (Intruders, Scream 4), and Dolph Lundgren (Don’t Kill It, Battle of the Damned).

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It also has a cool premise that combines an alien flick with a backwoods slasher!

welcome to willits full alien

The alien part takes up a majority of the film, and it’s mostly in the mind of a supposed abduction victim who lives in the small town where a bunch of kids has come to do the whole cabin in the woods thing.

welcome to willits abductionMy face during the anal probe…

The dreams/flashbacks definitely deliver on the scary alien concept, but it’s not enough to make this a thrill ride.

welcome to willits alien head

Therefore, a majority of the film is the usual drama playing out between the main group of friends.

welcome to willits camp

It’s only in the final act that the stalking and killing kicks in…when an alien hunt is launched in the woods.

welcome to willits alien

Kids having sex, aliens…who can tell the difference in the dark?

welcome to willits dekker

The gore is standard, and the kills are all gun-based and over in a flash, so don’t expect this to be any kind of scary, suspenseful slasher.

welcome to willits baby alien

And just like Blood Trap, it seems like it should be more fun than it is.

CHILD EATER (2016)

child eater cover

Finally, it’s time for the film I had to add to my DVD collection. Child Eater comes to us from director Erlingur Thoroddsen, who will be bringing us the gay horror flick Rift, so I have hopes for that one now.

child eater silhouette

Child Eater is simple, scary, suspenseful, and gory! It’s the classic story of a babysitter contending with a child that insists there’s something in his closet, and actress Cait Bliss is what we’ve been missing from our final girls for a long time.

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She’s just an ordinary, laid back young woman who completely takes charge when push comes to shove.

child eater cop

She also has a super cute friend who just joined the local police force – and drops one line about liking a man in a uniform that casually implies that he’s gay. When she babysits for new neighbors in town, the father insists that she not mention anything about the local legend of a killer that plucks out the eyes of little children.

child eater child eye

Too late. The kid already learned all about it on the Internet and is convinced he’s seen the killer near his house…and in his closet. As the final girl is attempting to convince him there’s nothing to be afraid of, her boyfriend stops by to visit.

child eater main girl

That’s when Child Eater – a freaky as fuck child eater, I might add – begins to wreak havoc. This nightmarish figure is fricking merciless in gouging out eyes by hand.

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It’s terror in the woods…and Child Eater’s lair…and a closet in one of the film’s creepiest moments…

Cops come on the scene to help (raise the eye count), but ultimately it’s up to the babysitter to stop Child Eater. This final girl goes hardcore.

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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