This weekend’s movie marathon included three films I knew nothing about going into them. So it’s even more satisfying that a majority of them really scratched my chronic horror itch. As for subgenres, they all really only have one thing in common – the scripts were written by members of the casts!
THE EVIL INSIDE (2011)
If you must watch this one, which was written by one of the lead actresses, you have to go into it knowing it’s actually a psychological horror…which is why it makes no fucking sense for a majority of the running time.
To even get into the details of why it’s so confusing would be confusing, so I’ll just say this—a weird chick has a bunch of people she doesn’t actually know over to her house for a party, they all become trapped in the house by a seemingly supernatural presence, and then get killed off one by one.
Considering she’s having visions of them all dying at her house, the host should have just told them to stay home so they’d live. But then there would be no movie. As the bodies pile up, distrust mounts, everyone turns on each other, and then they all begin killing each other. There’s no gore, but there are various cheap scares courtesy of the host’s ghostly visions.
Eventually, we get the twist of what’s really been going on. The cast is good and the film has a genuine horror “feel,” but the narrative gets swallowed by its intentional attempt to confound and intrigue viewers in hopes they’ll stick around for the big reveal at the end. The confusing plot is just one of the reasons you may not make it to the end, the other being the fact that the characters are pretty unlikable.
DEATH DO US PART (2014)
If you like whodunit slashers, don’t hesitate to watch Death Do Us Part. A group of friends heads for a cabin in the woods as a pre-wedding celebration and immediately has some run-ins with a weirdo caretaker. Yeah, things seem pretty generic way too quickly. BUT…
…it soon becomes clear that the friends all have issues with each other (including the bride and groom, who are married in real-life and co-wrote the script).
I totally got sucked into the slow burn. Not to mention—the guys are really cute. The hottie below even does a striptease, ending up in an elephant trunk G-string.
As the drama of the complicated relationships unfolds, there are plenty of cheap prank scares, mostly from the G-string cutie. He also can’t stop calling things – and people – gay, which makes it pretty disappointing that he doesn’t have a coming out moment to explain his otherwise unnecessary homophobic banter.
When the group decides to play a scavenger hunt game…in the woods…at night…shit gets crazy, fast! There’s a good body count, but this one focuses more on suspense and mystery than kills, so don’t expect tons of gore. There are even some glimpses of a masked killer, but it’s downplayed.
The cast rox and the twists and turns keep coming until the bitter end. And best of all—the killer’s performance fucking rules. The overall classic vibe of Death Do Us Part kicks ass.
THE SIGHTING (2015)
I was pretty sure Exists had forever ruined all other Bigfoot movies for me, to the point that I started skipping them when they appeared on streaming services. But for movie night with some friends, we settled on this one—and I got so much more than a Bigfoot movie.
It should be noted that The Sighting was actually made in 2006 and is way more original than the recent onslaught of Bigfoot films. Unfortunately, since it was just finally released for major consumption, it will most likely get lost in crowd.
While some timeline shifts make the beginning of the film a little confusing, we soon settle in to the main plot – two guys just graduating high school go on a road trip to Canada. When they take a shortcut to the border, madness strikes! A family of creatures attacks them in a pretty damn scary and intense scene.
There are some major twists and surprises as the main guy – played by Adam Pitman, who also directed the film – decides to hunt down the creatures with help from his friend.
There’s even some comic relief and an old school 1970s creature feature vibe thrown into the mix as the action builds, and then even more twists – in a BIGFOOT movie! Awesome.