I’m so far behind on all my streaming watchlists because my pups Romy and Michele are too much fun to ignore, so I’m just going through the movies in the order I added them into my lists. Here are the next four from Prime—a killer chasing girls in a house, a scare prank show gone wrong, a sequel to Offspring and The Woman, and an indie flick about a demonic afterparty—and there was some satisfying stuff going on in each film.
ALL I NEED (2016)
All I Need is a rather repetitive film about girls bound and gagged in a bedroom by a masked killer, but it has a few suspense scenes that I feel make it worth the watch.
The opening close-up of an unconscious girl drags on so long I thought my streaming service had frozen. But when she does finally move, she discovers where she’s ended up—although we don’t know how or why.
We do, however, soon find out what is to become of the girls. The main girl begins working with one fellow captive after another in an attempt to escape. Unfortunately, the killer keeps coming back in to mess up their plans.
Meanwhile, there is a side plot about a man so desperate for money he begins taking odd jobs. The segments focusing on him are quite bland, you figure out quickly where this is going to lead, and in the end it just feels unnecessary and irrelevant to our main girl’s real concerns.
Even so, this is a tightly crafted indie, and a long, unnerving vent scene alone is worth scooting to the edge of your seat for. The final girl’s last confrontation with the killer is also a goodie.
SCARE CAMPAIGN (2016)
From the directors of 100 Bloody Acres, Scare Campaign is an entertaining prank-show-gone-horribly-wrong flick with high production value, plenty of twists, great gore effects, brutal kills, and satisfying scares.
I’m convinced the opening scene was inspired by the eerie springboard moment in the Asian horror film Infection. In other words—it’s an effective way to start a film.
The main plot concerns an Internet scare prank show production team with some competition. A new show featuring a masked gang committing gruesome murders is getting all the hits. So the prank show crew is told by their boss to push the envelope by coming up with more extreme scares.
For the first show, they decide to fuck with a guy who works at an old mental hospital. A guy who’s a little off. Actually, more than a little off, which they discover when they begin to send their actors out into the creepy old place to scare him.
The bloody fun comes with plenty of chase scenes, suspense, and hardcore kills. Plus, the plot keeps changing course, so this is more than just a typical, straightforward slasher.
Pollyanna McIntosh, who starred as “the woman” in both Offspring and The Woman, not only reprises her role for this sequel, but also directs. Kudos to her for crafting a well-produced film that takes on biggies like religion and #metoo.
A feral teen shows up at a hospital where Jerry of The Walking Dead works. A bishop comes to take her away for rehabilitation…because he wants her to be the miracle that saves his church from going under.
Much of the movie focuses on the girl’s impossibly quick conversion into a domesticated, well-spoken teen devoted to God (there is even an oddly out of place montage with an upbeat pop song). And it’s obvious where things are heading between the girl and the sleazy bishop trying to help her find God….
Meanwhile, “the woman” is back, and she’s on the prowl, trying to reunite with the girl. She supplies us with all the bloody killing of random people, and eventually gets welcomed into an activist women’s group.
The plot definitely makes a bit of a bizarre continuation of this franchise, but it brings the storyline of the trilogy full circle as the exploited, feral women finally invade civilization and get the ultimate revenge. While Darlin’ is a little slow in the middle, a big, angry feminist party gifts us with a delicious, chaotic church service scene.
SACRIFICIAL FRESHMEN (2011)
The title alone was enough for me to check out Sacrifical Freshmen. When it begins with a dude waking up naked in a creepy building not remembering what happened at a party the night before, I was ready to have a party of my own.
He soon meets up with a goth girl, a man with a bat searching for his daughter, a crazy homeless priest who insists the devil is inside the building, and a biology teacher looking for a logical explanation as to why they are all trapped there. So begins the battle between religion and science as they try to figure out how to escape their situation.
The initial midnight movie feel had me psyched for a silly scary time.
The naked geeky kid and goth girl are a great horror duo, and the immediate appearance of cheesy demon faces and demon babies were a blast.
Sacrificial Freshman just seems to put a little too much effort into creating a complex tale behind the party and everyone in it. All the flashback exposition takes away from the initial campy horror vibe and becomes plodding and melodramatic. It also features a cameo by Lloyd Kaufman, but thankfully it’s brief and bearable.
By the time the focus returns to the naked kid and goth girl fighting the evil at the end, the film had mostly lost me.