All three of these flicks brought to mind movies of past decades, so I did get some retro satisfaction out of at least two of them. Let’s take a look.
THE OVERNIGHT (2022)
I guess it doesn’t matter to newer generations of horror fans, but for me, if you’re going to make a movie along the lines of The Shining, you have to rise to the occasion, and this film just didn’t for me.
A straight couple on a road trip has to make an emergency stop at a creepy hotel. The manager and owner are odd, so it’s no surprise the couple begins seeing ghosts everywhere.
There are plenty of great hack n slash murders here, but they are all simply residual hauntings giving us flashbacks to the hotel’s history.
The dudes running the place know about the ghosts eternally trapped in the building, so they clearly have a plan for our main couple.
Unfortunately, the scariest thing that happens besides the couple spotting the ghosts is black gunk splattering all over the guy while he’s showering. I wasn’t exactly mesmerized by this one. Ghost movies just don’t give me the willies like they used to back in the Poltergeist era…when I was 13.
FINAL SUMMER (2023)
If you are in the mood for a totally derivative summer camp slasher, this one definitely checks off all the right boxes. There’s a paper thin, predictable storyline, but it doesn’t really matter, because it’s all about the masked killer with an axe chasing counselors through the woods.
It begins with a faux scare campfire story, then we meet forgettable counselors—including the final girl, which is the downside here. It’s not the actress’s fault. She simply doesn’t have any material to work with to make her a sympathetic character or hero we’re rooting for.
Along with really great, blue-hued moon lighting, what worked for me is the fact that instead of victims being picked off one by one because they’re unaware of the threat, the whole camp of counselors almost immediately learns of the killer’s presence during a chaotic massacre.
The survivors spend the rest of the movie either huddled in a cabin while the killer lurks outside, or being chased through the woods by the killer.
That is about it. There’s not much more to it. There are standard levels of violence and blood (PG-13 level, I’d say), and you will most likely guess who the killer is, but if you love those summer camp slashers from the eighties, I’d say Final Summer is an okay time killer. My favorite part is when the killer runs full speed after one victim. Eek!
THE NAMELESS DAYS (2022)
Maybe I’m just in a nostalgic mood, because the old school feel of these flicks is bringing me comfort compared to the more mainstream modern horror coming out these days.
This one reminds me of the vengeful female specter PG-13 movies of the 00s. The timely take here is that the film focuses on a teenage girl and her father whose property is on the edge of the Mexican border, where migrants are trying to get into the U.S.
Let him in!
When a new mother and her brother try to sneak through a tunnel to cross the border, one of their travel companions is attacked.
What’s refreshing is that this isn’t a heavy-handed commentary on illegal immigrants. Instead, our main girl tries to help the migrants when a vengeful demon begins pursuing them to get its gnarly hands on the baby.
The creature is awesome, and even if this is a fairly average horror flick, there are several really effective moments when the demon is chasing the main characters. On top of that, the main girl is very likable, and her dad’s friend is a cutie.