I love me some alternatives to the most obvious horror films out there. I also get pretty bummed when they just don’t grab me like I’d hoped. I got triple duped watching Spliced, I Didn’t Come Here to Die, and My Stepdad’s a Freakin’ Vampire.
Spliced is one of those post-Scream era slashers that brings a few unique concepts to the genre, yet still feels pretty derivative. This chick goes to see a movie called The Wisher with her friends. Soon after, she begins to believe that the killer from the movie is killing the people in her life any time she so much as thinks something like “I wish you would just go away” when someone is getting on her nerves.
Ron Silver appears in the film as her therapist and Drew Lachey (brother of Nick Lachey and member of 98 Degrees) appears as one of her friends. There are a couple of cool deaths, the killer is pretty creepy, and there are some good scenes of her being stalked by him. But the flow of the movie is a mess thanks mostly to an excessive number of dream sequences.
But I have to admit, the final confrontation is pretty clever—and rather of obvious if you stop to think about it; whenever the final girl thinks of someone disappearing or dying, they do. Guess how she conquers the killer. At the same time, the twist is kind of absurd based on what is revealed at the end….
I DIDN’T COME HERE TO DIE (2010)
I Didn’t Come Here to Die came out the same year as Tucker and Dale vs. Evil and the plot is sort of the same. But this one takes itself pretty seriously.
Six young people head into the woods to work on a humanitarian project. For a while, we get the typical horror clichés—campfire stories, prank scares amongst the group, sexual tensions, yada yada. There are several hints that something typically horror is waiting to happen: they don’t get cell phone reception; they’re working on creating a summer camp; a chick sees a dead, bloody animal in the woods; one dude tells the story of how his family died and it was all his fault.
Then one girl accidentally runs into a tree branch and pokes out her eye. Another chick accidentally drops a chainsaw on her face. Guilt leads one guy to commit suicide. As the body count rises, the remaining kids realize that it’s going to be hard to explain all the accidents and that they’re going to look like murderers unless they take drastic measures to cover up the mess.
It’s actually a pretty clever plot and the chainsaw scene is fucked up! But this isn’t much of a horror movie in the traditional sense. There’s nothing scary about I Didn’t Come Here to Die. It’s a comedy of errors—minus the comedy. Enjoyable enough to watch it one time, but even a single viewing leaves you feeling a little cheated at the same time as appreciating how it plays out.
MY STEPDAD’S A FREAKIN’ VAMPIRE (2009)
How awesome is the title My Stepdad’s a Freakin’ Vampire? Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t live up to the title. With so many good “My XX is a XX” movies coming out again, this one should have been a winner. Unfortunately, not much happens, there are only a couple of humorous parts, and there are very few fun scares. The film is similar to Fright Night…but it makes you want to go watch Fright Night instead.
The coolest part of My Stepdad’s a Freakin’ Vampire is the winged, slimy vampire monsters that the stepdad summons. The film lacks any charm and the characters don’t make a lasting impression—not much chemistry or charisma going on here. There are so many moments that could be a blast but end up feeling too restrained and controlled, so they fall flat. Plus, the plot can’t sustain itself in the way it unfolds. But again, the monsters are really cool….
Here’s some of the hottie action you get from these 3 flix: