When I see neon in a horror movie poster, I have high hopes for some silly throwback horror fun. Did this selection from my watchlist–The Happy House, 1 Must Die, and Distiller–deliver?
This one looks and feels like a Full Moon movie from the early 90s. Unfortunately, it’s simply not as much dumb fun as a Full Moon flick until the last 20 minutes or so.
It begins with a ghost hunter that captures spirits in bottles of liquor. This unnecessarily long opening segment even manages to throw in a Bigfoot.
25 years later a girl and her boyfriend come to her missing uncle’s house to throw a Fourth of July party. Other than pouring out all the old “spirits” from bottles they find in the house, the couple does absolutely nothing of any interest for a majority of the film. I was so damn bored.
At last a variety of little monstrous creatures comes out to play when all the friends arrive for the party—which you’d think would lead to a body count. NOPE.
There are also a lot of floating ghost heads joining in for the big fireworks show, but there is absolutely no glue holding this mess together. But hey, it does land on my holiday horror page.
THE HAPPY HOUSE (2013)
The description of this film has some great potential, so I can’t wrap my head around how horribly it falls apart about halfway through.
A young, bickering couple decides to vacation at a charming B&B, where the girl quickly becomes suspect of the owners—a sweet old lady and her creepy, beefy son.
The old lady has a “three strikes you’re out” policy if guests don’t follow her rule book, which includes things like no profanity. Her son lurks around with an axe, so the girl fears what might happen after the third strike.
If only that suspicion led somewhere. The guests sit around talking a lot, then a cop drops by to tell everyone a psycho has escaped, and then…a dude shows up with a gun. Yawn!
Would you believe me if I said **SPOILER** the rest of the movie is basically the guests all hiding from the killer and talking until they find an opportunity to sneak out a window? WTF?
1 MUST FALL (2018)
1 Must Fall starts with some satisfactory gore, which drew me in even though the killer is just some bald dude.
The film takes place in the 80s, but the decade is not crucial to the plot, and the 80s vibe isn’t overplayed. The plot focuses on a woman who gets fired from her job then takes a temp job with a crime scene cleanup crew.
Turns out the killer is still in the building in which they’re working. The crew includes the usual suspects—a jerk, a witchy woman, a gay guy (who plays a crucial role in the film by the end), the cute love interest, etc.
While there’s some quirky dialogue, this isn’t a laugh riot…although it does try to inject humor with a completely pointless cameo by Lloyd Kaufman (aren’t they all pointless?). The film is disappointingly slow with too much talking, but when the killer finally starts slaughtering everyone, the gore is great. It’s also the only thing that really saves this otherwise mundane movie.