PRIME TIME: double the brutality, but is it double the fun

I guess this pair of exploitative indie horror movies does make a pretty darn good double feature, but whether you’ll really like them depends on how forgiving you are about their faults.

SERENA WAITS (2018)

Hunter Johnson, the director of 2 Jennifer, definitely likes to explore the sexually twisted places humanity can go and the harm that can be inflicted on others. Serena Waits is a basic rape/revenge flick.

There’s an opening scene involving someone in a mask and wielding a knife coming for a male dance teacher, and I’d forgotten all about it until I started using my notes to write this blog. That’s because it seems to have no connection to anything else that comes after it…unless I missed something.

After that the plot is familiar. Some dudes pick up a drunk girl as she walks home from a party.

At first they offer to help her. Then they bring her home. Then they do drugs. Then they rape her and leave her for dead.

Months later, the guys have some girls over to hang, and eventually they begin seeing signs that the girl has somehow returned and is coming for them. However, the girls don’t see anything, so they offer to have a seance…

It all comes down to the guys getting what they deserve, and they get it bad. Really bad.

These guys are subjected to some major male-targeted brutality, if you know what I mean. If this subgenre is your kind of thing, you may be bored for a while, but the violent finale definitely pays off.

THE FACELESS MAN (2019)

This whole movie is kind of faceless, because it never settles on being just one thing. It’s a sort of mob, crazy town, drug trip, supernatural killer, masked killer home invasion slasher movie, with some dark comedy thrown in for good measure.

If it had been cut by about twenty minutes I probably would have more fun just going with all the insanity, but at 106 minutes long, it tends to get lost in itself.

A young cancer survivor goes to a party with her friends, we see some man butt by the pool, and then they all decide to go to a cabin in the woods.

As soon as they roll into town, they get threatened for being city folk and land on the shit lists of a biker gang and an entire town.

Meanwhile, another guy is tortured by a drug dealing mob and reveals the drugs he stole from them is in the car of all the friends heading to the cabin in the woods.

Back at the cabin, the main girl keeps having hallucinations of a creepy, faceless creature. Things only get worse when she and her friends start doing drugs and eventually turn on each other…when they’re not running away from masked home invaders, sexual sadists in the basement (complete with a gimp), and mobsters.

It really is everything but the kitchen sink, and there are some brutally violent scenes, as well as oddly humorous moments, but as I said before, it just can’t fully sustain the mess that it is for the entire running time.

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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