STREAM QUEEN: a bunch of horror in the woods and one in an asylum

A 5-flick marathon, various subgenres. So do I want to add any of them to my movie collection with all the great gift cards I’ll get this Christmas?

THE HUMAN VIRUS (2014)

I’ll make this one short. The Human Virus is a very low budget crazies/infected film that takes place in the woods. It also drops us right into the middle of the infection.

There are guys in the woods in hazmat suits, they’re concerned about getting infected, they panic and kill someone.

A group of workers in the woods sees the incident and gets confronted by the first group before they can get out of there.

This film is a lot of talk as people fight and worry over who will and won’t get infected. There was just nothing particularly scary, thrilling, suspenseful, or even gory here to hold my interest.

CAIN HILL (2017)

Every documentary horror these days starts with a “true events” postscript, making every horror movie either based on a true story or just fake news. There’s no way to tell anymore.

This little indie is presented half standard film, half found footage, which I much prefer over one character who never puts the fucking camera down. Our group of documentary makers here is heading to an abandoned asylum with a murderous history.

Pacing is the main problem here. After the group is warned to stay away—by a hot young guy instead of a scary old man or toothless hillbilly for a change—it’s endless talking. It’s so dull that the film even tries to remind us it’s eventually going to get scary by startling us with obnoxiously loud orchestral stabs between scenes.

Fifty-four minutes into this 80-minute movie, the killer finally appears full Monty and doing his thing. With so little time left and so many people alive, naturally it’s suddenly a fast-paced film.

The killer is super creepy and there’s some cool stylized camera work during kill scenes, so that counts for something. Feel free to just jump to the 50-minute mark and enjoy the cheap thrills.

DEAD NIGHT (2017)

With a few minor twists on the Evil Dead concept, Dead Night is my kind of bizarre take on the plot.

Only one thing hinders this from going way up on my list of favorites—the flow is constantly interrupted by documentary interviews, because the situations in the movie are supposed to have happened already.

If you can get past those painfully invasive segments, there’s classic fun to be had here. Horror king AJ Bowen and his family go vacationing at a cabin in the woods and discover a wounded woman, played by horror queen Barbara Crampton. They take her in and then all hell breaks loose.

Be warned—it takes a while to get there. Once it does, there’s top-notch demons and killer gore galore.

The demon sequences are creepy good and there’s slime and tentacles enough to make Dead Night one I’ll add to my collection despite that whole documentary angle.

EXPOSURE (2018)

Exposure is another indie take on Evil Dead tropes. Its biggest flaw is that because there are only two people in the film—the couple that comes to a cabin in the woods—it takes way too long to get to all the fun.

Actually, horror queen Lynn Lowry also makes an appearance later in the film, but it feels forced and just adds confusion to an otherwise straightforward experience.

I love the interior of the cabin in which the film is shot. I love that the main guy gets shirtless.

The couple is already dealing with tension when the husband starts acting weird after a very 80s moment involving fog machines, green light, and scary synth music. Awesome.

Things escalate when he has a run-in with something ooey-gooey while fishing. Sure, there are more clashes, but grasping at straws to keep a horror audience captivated, the film resorts to the dream scare…within a dream scare. No!!!

But I can forgive, because it all leads to mouth bile, demon voice, attack vines in the woods, gnarly monster makeup, and cheesy good, 80s style practical effects like slimy demon tongue and (campy) demon finger arrows.

I was so into the midnight movie final act of this one and I’ll definitely add it to my collection if it hits DVD.

PRIMAL RAGE (2018)

I was quickly becoming convinced Exists had met its match in the Bigfoot genre once this one got into gear. It has a massive and menacing hairy beast and some amazing practical gore effects (best eye-gouge scene ever)…but then it does something so confounding it’s like you’re suddenly watching a different movie.

Lets take the good first. A young, pretty couple is on a road trip when they get into a freaky accident that spirals out of control super fast once Bigfoot gets in on the action.

The couple ends up in the woods, practically naked and at the mercy of a bunch of redneck hunters. The leading man is delicious, making these the worst rednecks ever because there’s no Deliverance moment.

The kills are super graphic when Bigfoot starts the slaughter. Not only is he wearing a mask made of tree bark, he also uses primitive weapons to fuck victims up, giving this one a unique spin.

Just when the action is rocking, we come to the part that makes this movie an unforgivable hour and 45 minutes long. There’s a whole Indian tribe subplot…and a witch. A creepy, decrepit, cackling witch who deserves her own movie, but shouldn’t be in this one.

This segment causes the film to drag right in the middle before we finally get back on track in a battle to the death that’s reminiscent of Predator. The witch part seriously kills me, but I’ll still add this one to my movie collection.

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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