What better way to start off the New Year than with a bunch of disappointing movies? Here’s a trio I watched, including found footage, a backwoods slasher, and a—well, I don’t know what. Let’s get right to it.
GRADUATION DAY (2013)
Nope, not a remake of the 1981 slasher. This is a fairly short (thankfully) found footage take on a plot we’ve seen a million times. But when these high school kids get into an I Know What You Did Last Summer predicament, the cameras are rolling. And you’ll know how it ends, because the beginning shows the ending—minus the twist, which carries all the weight of making this a memorable film.
It’s senior year, and a bunch of kids decides to film every second of it, which mostly includes a very long montage of partying set to hip hop music. Finally, they decide to cliff dive. Something goes horribly wrong, they cover it up, and now they’re being threatened and stalked in their houses by someone who even sends a “You’re next” message—and naturally, they’re filming it all.
Finally, we see the beginning again (because it was the ending), and then we get the twist during closing credits. I guess Graduation Day is worth sitting through only because it’s so short. But I’d suggest making it even shorter…by fast forwarding to the cliff diving scene and starting from there.
THE REDWOOD MASSACRE (2014)
I’m always up for a backwoods horror about dumb kids visiting the site of a bloody urban legend. Even better, The Redwood Massacre has a very promising beginning. A couple of early, random murders feature someone in a sack hacking the hell out of victims with an axe—and repeatedly targeting the same exact spot on the body. Eek! This holds true for every kill, and it’s painful to watch.
Next, our group of friends arrives, sits around a campfire, and discusses the urban legend. Flashbacks deliver an awesome psycho killer who hears voices coming from a scarecrow then slaughters and eats his family, with a fiendish smile on his face the whole time. And that’s just appetizers.
The Redwood Massacre delivers some awesome kills, plenty of gore, a little torture porn, and a cool killer, before totally falling apart. First, one kid escapes then wanders around the killer’s lair with no demonstration of terror each time he has a brush with the killer! Huge suspense opportunities missed. Eventually, we’re down to the final girl…until some random dude with a shotgun shows up. Everything gets awkward, and the final girl spends the rest of the movie standing around, looking as dumbfounded as we are at the direction this film took, simply too confused to run away from the killer or to fight back.
THE LAST HOUSE (2015)
Honestly, if you don’t read the description of what this movie is about before watching it, you pretty much have no idea what’s going on.
It seems a threesome of escaped satanic mental patients has holed up in a big house. Actress Felissa Rose of Sleepaway Camp shows up for about 2 seconds to collect a check and add star power to the marquee. She walks up to the door of the house and screams as she gets jumped, after which she is never seen again. Cha-ching!
Meanwhile, Jason Mewes of Jay & Silent Bob is dating a prostitute.
She and a couple of other prostitutes go to the house. I guess they were called to do a job, although it seems they’re auditioning for a job. There’s interracial lesbian toe sucking and spanking, followed by puking and puke kissing. One dude finger fucks and rims a honeydew melon. The prostitutes are apparently killed then return as ghosts, and they may be possessing Mewes’s girlfriend. Jason shows up then there’s a bunch of spiritual jibber-jabber from one of the mental patients.
What I’m saying is, avoid this one at all costs…even if it’s essentially free on Amazon Prime….