Since there’s no lost gem to celebrate here, I’ll make this quick as I look at four films I’ve watched recently: a dark comedy, a vampire film, a slashers, and a found footage backwoods horror.
EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES (2019)
Watching the trailer for this one I was excited at what I thought might be the first juicy dark comedy teen flick I’ve seen in a while in the tradition of Jawbreaker and Heathers.
Sadly, everything in the ridiculously long trailer is about as edgy as it gets. It’s not that the plot is lacking or the cast is weak, it’s just that the film has no energy, and the vibe it’s going for seems to miss the beat. Everything just falls flat.
The film is about a high school teen who kills his classmates’ pain in the ass, embarrassing, affluent parents for money.
A detective investigating the “accidents” is on to the teen very quickly, but no one believes him. So it becomes a battle of wits between the two.
If only it were as enthralling and quirky as it sounds. Even the kills just happen with no build-up or suspense. They just happen, like split-second, unexpected accidents. Bummer.
BLOOD TYPE (2019)
This film only runs 58 minutes long and is listed as “in production” on IMDb, so I’m guessing the makers ran out of funds and salvaged what they completed just so they could release it. The sudden ending that ties up nothing suggests the same thing.
The story is about a burly man who wakes in a cave only to discover there has been an outbreak of some sort of vampire infection…and he might be the answer to questions being asked by a scientist in a survivor community he joins.
It’s melodramatic with lots of talking, but we do get a handful of vamps, and they’re pretty cool looking. And I’m all about the high burly body count—from men to monsters, including vampire nipple action.
There was some good potential here. However, considering you’ve seen vamps like these in more complete films, you’re better off watching Stake Land instead.
FINAL CUT (2019)
Final Cut is well made—the film quality doesn’t scream low budget indie—but it does come across as a movie created by someone who grew up on meta slashers of the late 90s.
After a screenwriting student’s script is stolen, he and his friends hurriedly come up with a horror movie idea and begin shooting. But then a real killer shows up in their killer’s welding mask costume and begins hunting them down.
There is a lot of talk for the first thirty minutes, with loads of horror movie name-dropping.
Dude! Make good choices! He’s so not dead…
Once the killing kicks in it is a serviceable slasher, but despite only running 70 minutes long, it feels like it just keeps going and going. And the denouement is really derivative of Scream-era slashers.
BLOOD MOON RIVER (2017)
This short, 61-minute found footage movie begins with two lesbians having sex in the woods. It’s my favorite scene, delivering the best horror moments, and I’m not talking about the carpet-munching. Wait…if most women shave bald down there these days, does that make it floor-licking?
A group of friends rolls in to film a video debunking the legend of Blood Moon River, where people have been disappearing for years.
There’s a dip in a pond, an encounter with crazy rednecks, and lots of running and screaming with shaky cam. Conveniently there’s a camera focused on everyone as they die, but I’m not complaining, because bloody victims are the highlight here, and it is nice to seem some gratuitous tit action even though I’m not into tits, because I miss the days when every horror movie had to have nudity.
The film temporarily ramps up to low budget Texas Chainsaw territory with an odd twist that is barely explained because the movie comes to an abrupt end right after it feels like it’s about to promise something really bad.