Sometimes you just need to get away from it all, but bloodthirsty killers and monsters get in the way, as in two films on my watchlists that made for a good double feature while offering some variety in the cabin in the woods/backwoods horror subgenres.
MURDER IN THE WOODS (2017)
There’s really nothing original about this cabin in the woods slasher and nothing too complicated to get in the way of it being about the slashing.
No red herring throw us off the scent of the totally obvious killer, the killer doesn’t wear a mask, the killer doesn’t feel like much of a psycho once revealed, and there are too many times when the characters find a dead body but quickly dismiss what they saw as the result of being high on pot brownies.
However, the film does have some things going for it.
a it’s a) it’s an all Latinx cast for a change
b) Danny Trejo is the cop, and he’s always cool
c) the kills are pretty good, and the ones that aren’t shown on screen at first are delivered in gory flashbacks at the end
d) the hot guy takes off his shirt
e) there are a couple of good, cheap jump scares
f) there are a few awesome 80s style new wave songs
If you can’t get enough of slashers, you’ll probably watch it and enjoy it for what it is.
THE MILLENNIUM BUG (2011)
When “No CGI Films” comes up as the production company behind a movie as soon as it begins, that’s hopefully a really good sign. In this case, it was a great sign.
The Millennium Bug takes place on New Year’s Eve 1999, making it one for the holiday horror page. A man, his daughter, and his new wife decide to camp in the woods for the night to avoid any possibility of technological breakdowns in civilized society.
Wouldn’t you know they get abducted by a family of deformed hillbilly goons!
This film has a unique tone that feels, looks, and sounds like a light fantasy film, while presenting hillbilly horror with a touch of dark humor, as the threat of a different subgenre completely threatens to invade the insanity at any minute…and eventually does. It becomes a monster movie!
The nonstop horror entertainment initially seems like it’s going to cross some awful hillbilly horror lines thanks to a disgusting birth scene early on that leaves nothing to the imagination. Once the family is kidnapped, there are continuous threats of horrible rape, but the movie never lets it get there.
What a relief, because it would have just ruined the popcorn (and cherry cola) movie fun.
Once the monster eventually stomps onto the screen, it brings with it an epic size and classic special effects…which means a dose of fantastic cheese added to the mix. It really does deliver the charm of an old school monster movie with a contemporary edge. It also had me adding the DVD to my Amazon shopping cart before I’d even finished watching it.