Yay! It was a triple feature marathon of movies from my Prime list, and I had a good time with all three of them…and one even features a gay couple.
BABYSITTER MUST DIE (2020)
The deceiving cover and title make this one seem like it’s going to be a low budget, hack ‘n’ slash horror comedy. Turns out it’s mostly a serious home invasion suspense flick with a nice deviation from the norms.
For starters, it takes place at Christmas time, so I’m adding it to the holiday horror page. Second, while it takes a while for the truth to come out, the reason for the invaders infiltrating this house actually has a paranormal angle to it. And finally, the coolest part of all is that the only one who can save the family that is being terrorized is their babysitter, who manages to hide before the home invaders can see her.
The home invasion elements offer pretty typical thriller sequences, but what kind of feels out of place here is that the babysitter uses her skills gained as a sort of girl scout when she was a kid to take on the invaders.
She wears all her merit badges as a belt, so every time she applies one of her acquired skills, that particular badge magnifies on screen for a temporary freeze frame of the babysitter in action. It’s a silly little novelty that doesn’t seem to fit the tone of the film.
Also important to note is that while I appreciate the paranormal plot device, the film doesn’t delve into it visually—I can only assume because they didn’t have the budget for it and it would just complicate matters. That said, the lack of any kind of supernatural special effects or focus on the supernatural threat didn’t hinder the overall flow of the film at all for me.
And finally, just note that the babysitter doesn’t look much like a teenager (if that’s what she’s supposed to be). In fact, she bears a striking resemblance to former White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
HP LOVECRAFT’s THE DEEP ONES (2020)
Chad Ferris has been making indie horror films for over two decades—Unspeakable, The Ghouls, Easter Bunny Kill Kill, Someone’s Knocking at the Door, Exorcism at 60,000 Feet, The Chair—and I have a majority of them in my collection. In fact, I immediately ordered The Deep Ones on DVD after watching it. It has that 80s-esque Lovecraftian adaptation vibe; it’s sexual, sleazy, drenched in red light, and even has classic, eerie whistling sci-fi style music.
After a recent miscarriage, a pretty couple comes to stay in a seaside community with a very welcoming and accommodating couple…that is also part of some sort of cult that basically wants to summon the Dagon so it can impregnate women.
It’s good old simple horror—how is this couple going to escape the clutches of this psychotic cult and avoid being fish fucked?
There are plenty of great scenes involving nasty tentacles coming out from between the legs of females, and the ridiculously handsome husband even gets deep throated by one. Sexy.
And the good news is it’s all practical effects, including the awesome creature that eventually rises from the surf for some sexy times. Plus, we get 80s horror fave Kelli Maroney of Night of the Comet in a fairly substantial role as the “crazy lady” trying to warn the couple of the danger they’re in.
Also of note is that one older woman is actually played by a man in drag.
I’ve seen plenty of Lovecraft adaptations in the past few years that are just dull and lifeless, and because they’re indies they don’t even deliver on any of the creature goodness we get here. Not to mention, director Chad Ferris doesn’t try to follow the rules of sterile, generic Hollywood horror films, so there’s always some fun subversion reminiscent of the nasties of the direct-to-VHS days.
While watching this film, I was astounded to see how many bad reviews it has on IMDb. Scratch that. I shouldn’t have been astounded, because everyone is a horrible horror critic these days. This shit is a little indie comedy horror treat.
A young man named Wally and his young coworkers head into a community to sell knives door to door. Wally is invited in by horror king Kane Hodder, who is so perfect in his role as a seemingly chill but stern dude…who turns out to be a psycho with some family issues.
When Wally leaves Kane’s house without selling a knife, he forgets the knife at the house. So, like an idiot, Wally and his friends decide to sneak into the house to get the knife back.
It’s reverse home invasion as the kids become trapped inside with crazy Kane stalking and killing them. The cast is fun and funny with great comic timing, the humor is subtle and successful, and there’s a notable gay couple who has a very natural exchange expressing their feelings for each other…including a kiss that lands this one on the does the gay guy die? page.