Actually, the scary guy in each of these movies is bald, but the one in Hayride 2 wears a bag over his head….
THE PACT 2 (2014)
How do you cash-in on a darkly intense indie that succeeded in leaving viewers intrigued and terrified by the unknown until the bitter end (my blog here)? Take the creepy aspect of the film and exploit it until you’re so numb you can no longer feel the fear.
Along with a totally insulting copycat killer plot, the creep that died in the first film is back as a ghost. And he is used ad nauseam for endless cheap scares that you’ll see coming from miles away unless you’re 12 years old or younger, under which circumstance this will be one of the scariest movies you’ve ever seen. And just to make sure you’ll need to sleep with mommy and daddy (or daddy and daddy or mommy and mommy—go USA!), there are a couple of girl ghosts thrown in for good measure.
HAYRIDE 2 (2015)
The first film, which I blog about here, is a simple low-budget slasher about a killer named Pitchfork who terrorizes kids at a Halloween haunted hayride. Part 2 goes the Halloween II route; the killer makes his way to the hospital to finish off the survivors from the first movie.
In terms of production, Hayride 2 is definitely a step up from the original film. It’s dark and gritty and the chase and kill scenes are pretty fantastic: grisly and brutal. There’s even some Halloween décor in the hospital where as there were no hints of it actually being Halloween in the first film! And the cutie from the first film is back in this one and running around in a tank top, so that’s a plus.
As a follow-up to a cheesy slasher, Hayride 2 takes a sharp turn into characterization and killer backstory. Problem is this onslaught of info is nonstop and told through long stretches of dialogue. It feels like the director/writer was so incredibly passionate about filling in the details of his original vision that he let it overshadow the intense slasher this film could have been if the glimpses we get between all the talk are any indication.
Jacob is the only film in this triple feature that isn’t a sequel—and I hope it stays sequel-free. I honestly can’t figure out if we’re supposed to take this movie seriously. It’s not actually a backwoods horror comedy, but the performances by many of the actors feel almost like they are intentionally melodramatic and farcical.
But that doesn’t even really matter. The other problem with the film is that it takes 50 minutes for it turn from a story of a white trash family into a slasher. And worse, it’s a flashback story…and there are flashbacks within the flashback. WTF? Plus, the young characters in the main flashback appear before it wearing terrible old person makeup. Ugh. Also, keep an eye out for Michael Biehn as Jacob’s father in the flashbacks within the flashbacks. Again, ugh.
As for the ridiculously over-the-top white trash family, they are so cliché that it almost makes Rob Zombie’s Halloween seem like a good white trash movie. After tons of drama mentally challenged Jacob loses his shit when his dirt bag stepfather accidentally kills his little sister while beating her with a belt. So Jacob goes around killing everyone…and then a lynch mob is formed to hunt him down. Absolutely nothing scary here.