My brief look at films about: rednecks with guns (how creative); a murder game taken too far, and kids vs. mom.
Um…so…a group of friends drives through redneck territory. Hicks with sniper rifles take most of them out in the first half hour. The final guy runs around getting shot at for about another half hour until he’s killed. Then the hicks start turning the guns on each other. This one is well worth skipping if you’re a horror fan.
MURDER IN THE DARK (2013)
Sure, you’ve heard this one before: a group of friends plays a murder game for fun, but then someone begins taking the game too seriously. However, Murder in the Dark manages to be quite unique, due in large part to the fact that the cast wasn’t actually working off a script. They were put into the scenario and filmed as they essentially played a game of Clue!
The setting also adds great atmosphere to the proceedings. Medical students on vacation in Turkey camp overnight in the ruins of an old town. Soon after they play their “Murder in the Dark” game, they start to turn up dead! And naturally, they all begin to distrust each other and turn on each other until the bitter end!
The scriptless acting is tight, with no real signs of actors searching for something to say—dialogue is quite fluid and natural. And the tension and drama build with surprising character reveals and twists along the way. Don’t go in expecting a “slasher.” This is more of a whodunit, and definitely worth a watch…even if the killer motivation has kind of become a big cliché these days in tourist horror films.
GOODNIGHT MOMMY (2014)
If Misery and The Uninvited had torture porn twins, you could name them Goodnight and Mommy.
The film has a great premise. After plastic surgery, a woman comes home looking pretty much like a mummy. The twins become convinced that the woman is not their mother. Unfortunately, the film drags out in an attempt to be an art house thriller. There’s some gross shit involving big bugs, and I became too bored to determine if it was real, imagined, or dreamed.
Finally, for about the last half hour, gruesome familial torture abounds, leading right up to a twist ending that these filmmakers and dozens of others from the past decade have used to shock the audience.