They all had the potential to be my kind of movie, but this quadruple feature ultimately delievered a weekend without a single satisfying horror movie experience. So here’s a quick rundown of each.
This one is not much of a horror movie at all, despite being on a multi-movie DVD in my collection. A teenage girl is keeping a criminal hidden in her closet. Not even her single mother knows he’s there.
The relationship between the man and teenage girl is kind of weird, especially since he spends pretty much all his time hanging out with her in his underwear! He has a very Christian Bale American Psycho look. A montage while mother and daughter are both out has him in the house cooking, walking on stilts, peeping watching TV, and reading the daughter’s diary. And then…he finds a vibrator and smells it.
Suddenly, the dude starts romantically pursuing the mother outside the home so that he’s eventually back in the home without the secrecy! The daughter becomes jealous, particularly when she hears them during a major finger fucking session! FINALLY, when the truth comes out, there’s a bit of a final battle in this odd relationship triangle, but there’s simply nothing scary or suspenseful to keep you glued to Pinprick.
FOLLOWED HOME (2010)
A bunch of friends goes to a cabin in the woods, and after 25 torturous minutes of talking, a stabbed and bleeding girl shows up begging for their help. The cool concept here is that the traumatized friends go back home after the ordeal, not knowing the killer has followed them.
The problem is, nothing much happens beyond more talking! Occasionally, one of the friends is grabbed by a person in black and dragged off screen for the kill, until eventually the movie ends with what might be a twist. I’m not sure because I seriously didn’t get the point.
The movie only runs 75 minutes, but it felt much longer. Plus, the credits begin rolling after about 65 minutes, and then we get one more unexciting scene of the killer grabbing a victim while she’s filming a vlog. Yeah, I didn’t understand this film at all. But the opening kill and jump scare were pretty damn good.
THE NEON DEAD (2015)
My hopes were so high for this film I bought the DVD after seeing the trailer. Unfortunately, aside from everything being drenched in 80s neon light and some wonderfully cheesy zombies, the film proves to be an unfunny fantasy.
A young woman renting a house calls for paranormal help when she finds a zombie in her house. The paranormal team proves to be two young video store guys. While the film begins with the suggestion that it’s going to be a campy horror film, pretty soon, a background story comes in about some dude in the past creating zombies slaves, turning this more into a sci-fi cheese buffet.
The neon dead are now everywhere, so the cast persuades them to help take down their evil master. Nonstop battles and chases are set to a painfully irritating guitar soundtrack that adds nothing to the tone of the film and isn’t even utilized to highlight the actions on screen. It’s just there, all the time, droning on and on, straight through to the overly long boss battles at the end, with the main guy battling goofy baddies.
The big surprise for me is that the one thing that fits the cool throwback look of the film is the new wave sounding song during the closing credits.
LAKE EERIE (2016)
And so I save what could have been the best for last. Directed/written by a husband/wife team, who also star in the film, Lake Eerie begins quite, well, eerie. Unfortunately, the old school slow burn becomes a repetitive drag before the film turns into a supernatural sci-fi flick that’s quite overdrawn and might serve better as a novel than a film.
Even so, there are several highlights to the film. Lance Henriksen has a small role – although, his appearance in low budget indies is not so much a highlight these days as it is a given. The real standout horror name is Betsy Baker, best known as Linda from the original Evil Dead. Here she plays a sweet but overbearing woman that lives next door to the house a young woman moves into after the death of her husband.
The young woman begins to experience creepy occurrences that are initially quite creepy. But then she has an absolutely pointless lesbian dream (beyond the director husband wanting to film his wife getting it on with a bodacious babe, perhaps), and shit goes off the rails! Another cartoonish character is introduced, and her familiarity with the background story of occult research in the house weighs the film down. Finally, there’s a moment that absolutely should have been the focus of this film. When the main girl goes into a portal/alternate dimension in the house, there is this freaky as fuck thin demon dude that peels off faces for fun. There are several other demonic figures, but this one deserves a movie other than Lake Eerie.