PRIME TIME: are the ghouls scarier than the movies?

I checked out four flicks on Prime ranging from slasher to supernatural, and they all delivered on the cool creeps—but is that enough?

FLIGHT 666 (2018)

I’ve seen zombies on a plane, snakes on a plane, demons on a plane…now it’s time for ghosts on a plane.

Setting the mood, Flight 666 takes place during a thunderstorm. We meet all the main players, including a druggy, horror hunk Paul Logan, a hunky air marshal, the pilot and copilot, a woman who has had supernatural experiences in the past, and a male flight attendant who is clearly gay. The dude even talks about flying penises with his coworker and is happy to get behind the hunks when the going gets scary. So of course that lands him on my does the gay guy die? page.

About an hour of the film has everyone just getting weird vibes and seeing flashes of ghostly faces in the plane and out the windows. It’s quite boring.

Then it gets kind of funny. We finally see some possessed looking female ghosts in the flesh, which is creepy cool, but when spirits began jumping from one passenger to the next screaming “revenge!”, the hubby and I both burst out laughing.

The moment does launch the most thrilling part of the entire film, though. It’s just a bummer that it was all crammed into the last few minutes.

HOLLOWER (2016)

I continue to check out the films of MJ Dixon when they hit Prime because I’m always impressed by his style, so it was time to give this one a whirl. And once again I was totally feeling the tone Dixon sets.

The film focuses on an agoraphobic man being interrogated and slowly recounting the events leading up to the death of his neighbor.

I say slowly because the film most definitely crawls. Much of the time is filled with scenes of the agoraphobic man alone, watching his neighbor and her man arguing in the hall, speaking to her through the door, and eventually inviting her in and building a relationship with her.

But…they’re not alone. Some sort of dark presence has been let in because he let his guard down. EEK!

Unfortunately, we only see it a few items because the film is so heavily focused on the main character instead of the horror.

On top of that, there are numerous, distracting montages set to the same bright, sunny pop song as if conveying him coming out of his shell. Plus, all the best horror doesn’t happen until the last few minutes of the film as the truth of what haunts him is revealed.

THE BRAIN HUNTER (2013)

This is a low budget backwoods slasher/torture porn with some weird supernatural elements thrown in for good measure.

The ghoulish killer is pretty creepy looking and there are plenty of kills, but the writing, execution, fluctuation in film quality, inconsistent shifts from day to night within the same sequences, and clumsy cuts between scenes make it glaringly obvious this is a low budget production.

People in a small town are rattled by a series of deaths, and so numerous random characters show up just to be killed off.

That’s because there’s a weird guy caring for a humanoid that eats brains. So eventually everyone ends up at his house to be tortured, raped, and killed.

There’s also weird green light, occult flashbacks that just confuse matters, and a whole lot of scenes of people meandering all over the place…just like the movie. That’s not to say I won’t totally watch the announced sequel.

CRUEL PETER (2019)

Cruel Peter starts off disturbingly strong. It’s a period piece in which a little prissy aristocratic bitch named Peter tortures peasants, servants, and animals. But he gets his.

The problem with that scenario is that, unlike supernatural revenge horror such as The Ring, where the mystery unfolds as the people in the present are haunted by a violent ghost, Cruel Peter tells us everything we need to know in the beginning.

That leaves us forced to watch an archaeologist in the present slowly get up to speed after unearthing Peter’s grave. Doing so has unleashed a whole lot of darkness, and it is all aimed at his deaf daughter.

It doesn’t help that the film is so darkly lit we can hardly see any of the horrors that target her. The film has a great gothic tone and atmosphere, we just can’t see much of it.

And in the end, the plot is nothing we haven’t already seen, only done more effectively. But if you are a fan of this ghost mystery subgenre, I definitely think it’s worth a watch.

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 www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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