Beware 3 masked killers of the last ten years

Sometimes you just need a break from smart horror (personally, I need a permanent break). So, are these three slasher worth a watch? Let’s take a quick look.

GNAW (2008)

It’s baffling that a backwoods cannibal family movie could be so derivative from start to finish…and still keep me totally entertained. Yeah right. Not baffling at all.

There isn’t a single moment of Gnaw that you won’t predict. Friends go to a house in the woods. The nice but weird lady who rents it to them bakes very special pies. And they eat them! Idiots. I won’t even eat food people I know make, let alone a stranger who looks like this.

The kids have interpersonal relationship drama. Then they start falling into the hands of a masked psychotic whenever they leave the house and go into the woods solo.

There’s a torture and dismemberment lair.

The killer’s identity is no secret because he only wears his mask during the kills. There’s even a bear trap.

But hey, the death scenes are brutal and awesome without too much in the way of torture porn. Plus, more than one character fights back big time, which is quite refreshing.


Let’s just get the usual issue out of the way. Indie slashers should not be nearly 2 hours long. How could that be fixed here? Remove the painfully cliché main detective character portrait. He clashes with his ex, clashes with his partner, has a drinking problem, fucks up and gets kicked off the case, goes rogue and tackles it anyway. Cringe. Slashers are a beginning to end cliché as it is, why would you try to make yours different by adding the most overused storyline ever?

Otherwise, this is a serviceable low budget slasher. It starts on what seems to be Halloween at a costume party. There’s some major slaughter and then it’s…

10 years later.

There are sporadic kills, police procedural scenes after each kill, an 80s heavy metal dude who literally calls a girl a harlot, a video store scene with a perv harassing two girls, and finally…

A rapid fire slasher at a house party, loaded with sex, gore, and a masked killer.

Not taking that photo into account, is it worth sitting through most of the movie to get to the fun? I guess it depends on how much you love low budget indies.


I was really expecting this to be some sort of hokey family horror movie with lame supernatural shit or backwoods occult shit going on. For a while it felt like that was exactly where it was headed.

A mother and her daughters go to a house in the woods for a getaway, with the dad planning to meet them shortly after.

The girls immediately start acting mysterious and suspicious…why do kids in horror movies always start acting creepy out of nowhere, yet the parent never says, “Why the hell are you suddenly acting like Children of the Corn?”

All these weird sounds and weird findings panic the mom, who decides they need to flee the place immediately, which makes it feel like she know something we don’t, but either that was a red herring or I was just trying to read into it too much.

Their failed attempt at escape is the first moment that made me go, “Whoa! Didn’t expect that to happen!” And that’s exactly how the rest of the film unfolds.

It’s super creepy and suspenseful as this turns into a home invasion/backwoods slasher hybrid, with a masked killer plus some shockingly brutal and gory kill scenes.

And the whole setup of mom protecting the kids totally falls apart, in a totally awesome way. It’s simple, it’s familiar, but it sure is fun thanks to unexpected twists.

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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