Things were not going my way when I started my horror viewing this weekend, but by the time I got through this mish mosh of killer clown, possession, deadly game, and ghost films, my horror happiness was restored. This, luckily, is the exact order in which I watched these four.
CLOWN KILL (2014)
A final twist in a slasher really means nothing if everything that comes before it leaves you not even caring by the time you get to it, as is the case with this clearly low budget film. Everything about it is rough, but I could overlook that if there were at least some thrills. There just aren’t.
A woman stumbles to a bathroom in a bar and gets raped by a clown (it’s implied). Flash forward, and now she works at an office and is barely the focus. There’s a sexual harassment segment and then a whole lot of footage of employees just talking at their desks. The film even tries to introduce humor and some meta horror convo to make it more bearable. Doesn’t work.
37 minutes in, the clown shows up. About ten minutes later he begins killing people.
Nothing gory or scary to see here, and the clown killer one-liners fall flat. There is at least a chase scene and a body reveal party.
Eventually there’s that twist, but I’d be surprised if anyone but me made it that far.
Look, I’m going to spoil the fuck out of this movie to save you an hour and forty-five minutes. So if you don’t appreciate the huge favor I’m doing you, then just skip to the next movie.
Forget the demon pictured in the poster art. The demons in this movie are personal demons disguised as possession. Yep, it’s a movie about a girl that appears to be possessed, but in the end it turns out she was just losing her shit because she was being abused by her dad, played by Andrew Divoff.
How do we learn all this? The priest who performed the exorcism married her sister, they are staying at a friend’s house for a wedding, and she’s being terrorized by visions of her sister. Personally, I’d be like, “Dead sis, what are you doing wearing that silly ghost makeup?”
Now get this. While it’s implied that the priest and wife don’t know exactly what occurred or why the sister died during the exorcism, they take part in a séance loaded with messy flashbacks that negate the entire point of the film by showing that they were there for the whole thing and experienced the truth. WTF?
There’s a twist after the credits start to roll, and it’s the only part that pretends to be a horror movie.
TRUTH OR DARE (2018)
Your classic, polished horror flick about a group of friends dying one by one, Truth Or Dare is like It Follows…with the Truth Or Dare game being the “it”. Not to mention, aspects of this film are strikingly similar to the Hulu show Light as a Feather.
A group of friends crosses the border to Mexico—which hasn’t yet built a wall to keep American shits out—and plays a game of Truth or Dare in an old, rundown cathedral.
They come back home and suddenly they’re being forced to continue playing whenever someone nearby gets this evil expression on their face and pops the question. Whether you chose truth or dare, it’s never a pleasant outcome.
Odd thing is, the evil face everyone makes that passes from person to person is almost exactly that of the traveling face that jump bodies in the low budget Christmas flick Elves!
The movie pretty much gets 5 stars simply because Teen Wolf is one of the leads, but as the kids run around trying to figure out how to stop this curse (it’s very The Ring), it soon becomes obvious that I’m always right—horror flicks should not be longer than 90 minutes long. This one runs 105. Ugh.
But I’ll let that go because it is a fun mainstream tween horror flick. Plus there’s a gay character who makes it pretty far into the film (the cutie on the left).
HIDE IN THE LIGHT (2018)
As the title suggests, this is a basic “Darkness Falls” premise—stay in the light or it gets you!
A group of friends that calls themselves the Urban Explorers goes to check out an abandoned orphanage, but it’s never quite clear if they have a video channel or something of that sort, or if they’re just doing it for kicks.
Every single guy in the group is adorable, especially the two guys shamelessly proud of their homoerotic bromance.
On top of that, for a low budget film with a familiar plot, this is quite successful at being suspenseful, scary, and fast-paced.
The group splits up to explore and film, and pretty soon they are encountering a little girl who wants to play a game…but only with the lights out.
It’s non-stop running with flashlights as they try to figure a way out in between getting dragged into the darkness. My only real complaint here is that they never seem to get a clue that they get dragged away because there is darkness behind them! Walk in a damn circle formation to cover all sides with light. Geez!