PRIME TIME: not your usual slasher marathon

It’s a foursome of oddities I came across on Amazon Prime, but I found something to like about most of these slashers.

DERELICT (2017)

It’s all flashlights and narrow halls in a derelict building as three guys are hunted by a creep in a gas mask in this taut flick.

The atmosphere and claustrophobic feeling in Derelict are top-notch, but considering the group that goes exploring the wrong place at the wrong time consists of only three guys, expect a low body count.

Even the confrontations with the killer are few and far between. Much of the focus here is on the mounting tensions between the friends, but they get into plenty of predicaments to keep the film moving.

And it’s definitely worth sticking around for the final act, when the battles with the killer take fresh, unexpected approaches with some devious moments—that are infuriating! There’s also a jump scare you can see coming from a mile away…that scared the fuck out of me!

A KILLER AWAITS (2018)

Sort of a slasher/thriller/mystery mashup, A Killer Awaits is a little goofy and clearly low budget, but the kills are quite fun and there are some moments that looked like they were straight out of a 1970s horror flick.

A dude has a landscaping business, and pretty soon residents on his route begin getting killed. It seems like the killer is purposely targeting people he interacts with.

A pair of detectives is on the case, one believing he’s innocent, the other convinced he’s guilty.

There’s not much more to it than that, and at times it feels like a series of scenes strung together rather than a distinct story arc. But it really is worth it for the death scenes. Just be aware, this is a POV film, so we don’t see the killer, and there’s no mask.

8 BALL CLOWN (2018)

It could be considered a sort of blend of Stitches and Clownhouse, but this gritty, sleazy, low budget movie will probably appease a limited audience. There’s not much going on here beyond a cackling, drug addict clown tormenting, torturing, and killing people…and kids. Yay!

To gives you an idea what you’re in for, the clown abducts and drugs a pregnant woman and then…um…induces labor.

In between his ranting, ramblings, and killing of adults, the clown also seeks revenge on a bunch of kids that taunted him at a party.

If it were a bit more streamlined and shorter than 103 minutes long, focusing only on him terrorizing the kids in their house, 8 Ball Clown would be more my kind of movie. Question is, do I want to watch the sequel that’s already in the works? You so know I won’t be able to control the OCD, so keep an eye out for the blog.

CENTRAL PARK (2017)

Talk about a slasher made for NYers. Central Park focuses on a group of high school teens. One of the boys is coping with the fact that his dad ran a huge Ponzi scheme that has a huge impact on the African-American community.

The kids hang out after school, visit the 9/11 memorial, and then head into Central Park, not knowing they are being stalked by someone wearing a hoodie and a photo of the Ponzi kid’s dad as a mask. It’s held on with clear plastic wrap and it’s damn freaky!

Central Park takes a while to kick in, but as soon as it does, a mesmerizing series of unique kill sequences set it apart from your everyday slasher. The situations keep the movie twisting and turning, and while the characters make some of the dumbest decisions you could fathom, you can forgive because you’re so sucked in by the weirdness that unfolds, and can’t wait until it all becomes clear at the end.

The tragedy of this awesome slasher? Nothing EVER becomes clear. ARGH!

The film even seems to be determined to make several points about class, race, and power, but by the end, it all just feels like incomplete attempts at social commentary.

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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