Aliens, demons, clowns, and killers

This foursome of films has a little bit of everything, from 80s throwback vibes to sequels. So let’s get into my impressions of Rim of the World, Prey, Hell House LLC 3, and Cry Havoc.


The director of The Babysitter nails the 1980s Steven Spielberg vibe of kids vs. aliens with this gem.

A young boy is dropped off at summer camp, meets the funny and raunchy counselors, including a mullet muscle head who makes his tits bounce, and then has a run-in with a quiet Asian girl, a pretty white boy, and a funny black kid in the woods.

And that is when all he’ll breaks loose. There are explosions, an air battle, and the kids end up with the key to saving the planet. They set out on a journey to bring it to a scientist as they are relentlessly chased by a couple of cool alien creatures.

It’s thrilling, suspenseful, funny, has cool effects, and all the kids are excellent. The soundtrack includes Devo, Ginuwine, and Nelly, and the sweeping score is right out of 80s Spielberg. There are even what appear to be homages to Jurassic Park, The Breakfast Club, and other faves of the 80s and 90s.

And while the film has an E.T. style family feel and an uplifting ending, there’s plenty of dirty humor to satisfy dirty adults.

PREY (2019)

The director of P2, Maniac remake, and Amityville: The Awakening brings us what feels somewhat like a white male version of that Netflix movie Sweetheart about a black female trapped on an island with a killer creature.

After his father is murdered, the jerk friend from the gay film Love, Simon is sent on a therapeutic retreat. He’s dumped off on an uninhabited island by himself to reflect. WTF?

Problems start right away…for viewers. He has nightmares about the masked guys who killed his dad, which should be impossible since he wasn’t there when his dad was murdered and wouldn’t know it was masked guys. Argh.

There’s an early accident involving him being cut by a mask underwater that seems like it will play a major part in the plot, but it’s never referenced again.

Instead, nothing happens for a majority of the film beyond him exploring the island and meeting a girl who is also trapped on the island.

67 minutes in we finally see what is pursuing him. The story of its origin is unique, and the battle in the final act at last delivers some fun, but this is mostly a disappointing film. Although, the final jump scare is cheesy good.


Bummer. In trying to sum up the story of this found footage franchise, this installment becomes a convoluted mess dealing with religion and the afterlife, while padding even promising scary scenes with flashes of similar moments in the previous films.

This time a rich guy buys the hotel before it can be demolished and wants to do a production of Faust in it.

As the group rehearses and sets up for the October 1st opening, a ghost hunting show team is also on hand. There’s also a gay crew member, the most significant inclusion of a gay character in the series yet, so this one lands on my does the gay guy die? page.

The clown is back for old times’ sake in one creepy scene. Other than that, the cast is terrorized by ghosts of people from the previous films.

Even the ending is just a rehash of the panicked emergency evacuation from the first film. There are very few moments that cause the kind of fear and anxiety the first two films do.

CRY HAVOC (2020)

Cry Havoc is the fourth movie in the Playing with Dolls series, which was later renamed as Metalface. I am a big fan of the series, which was loaded with jump scares and extreme practical gore effects.

This installment is very different. Usually, Richard Tyson lures celebrity wannabes to a house on his isolated complex under the guise of appearing on a reality show. They are really there to be hunted down by a Jason type killer.

Each film has an abrupt, inconclusive ending, yet the next sequel never picks up where the last one left off. The same goes here, so I imagine this isn’t the final film in the franchise.

This installment tries to finally explain some stuff. A reporter comes to interview Tyson because he is one of the FBI’s most wanted. Their conversation is loaded with flashbacks to previous kills in the series, which is more horror than you actually get from this entry, although there are a few jaw-dropping kills…

This film focuses on Charles Bronson lookalike JD Angstadt as the hero, which makes this feel more like…well, a Charles Bronson movie. There’s a lot of shootouts in the woods between Angstadt and the guards on the complex. There are also a lot of females tied up to trees with their tits exposed, but it just doesn’t deliver much of a plot.

While the series is hard to get in physical format (only the first is available on disc in the U.S.), I would buy this one if they were all released just to complete the collection, but I do hope there’s another film to redeem the series.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at
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