Horny, thirsty, and vengeful. I always enjoy watching kids terrorized in the woods, but this triple feature only delivered in small doses.
THE HONOR FARM (2017)
The Honor Farm is a movie I couldn’t stop watching, even though it makes very little sense in the end—or all the way through for that matter. There’s just a dreamy quality to it right from the beginning with a dream pop track capturing the essence of the title credit sequence. The soundtrack is modern wave awesome in general, featuring songs by Tamaryn, Moving Panoramas, The Black Angels, Mogwai, Still Corners, and more.
Generally themed around a teen who wants to lose her virginity on the night of her prom, it takes us away from the prom after she and her friend have major problems with their dates. A group of cool kids invites them along for a trip to an abandoned prison to do shrooms.
After the kids tell stories of death, horror, and satanic worship at the prison, they hit the shrooms, immediately launching us into a chain of events that is never possible to decipher as being either real or hallucination. Enhancing the trippy tone is the fact that the cast is perfectly immersed in the unfolding events.
They find animal corpses, they explore underground tunnels, they witness a satanic ritual (baby goat and all), they’re attacked by something in the water, the main girl sets her sights on the really cute guy who supplied the drugs, and…that’s all that really matters because all the promising horror moments seem to mean absolutely nothing in the end.
BEWARE THE LAKE (2017)
An unnecessarily subtitled opener sets up the notion of a curse that can bring back to life people who drown in a lake.
In the present day, a teen named Tabatha moves into a new home with her Romanian aunt. (I guess they were speaking Romanian in the first scene). She befriends the boys next door, catching the eye of all grown up Jonathan Lipnicki of The Little Vampire.
This makes his cheerleader ex jealous, so the cheerleaders lure her up to the lake to go “swimming.”
I’m an Ivanka Trump clone…what’s not to trust?
What transpires is a low budget Tamara…only with Tabatha instead. Tabatha’s dripping wet corpse in a bikini soon starts appearing in the cheerleaders’ rooms to scare them, eventually stepping up her game and killing them off.
I mean, she’s kind of creepy in an Asian horror girl rip-off way, but the movie takes a weird shift into “comic” territory (like a goofy cop obsessed with taboo sex acts).
The cheese factor is strong by the time the kids band together and return to the lake to try to stop Tabitha. Really, there are better versions of this story you could be watching.
I’m usually hard on found footage films that are rather generic. For instance, in Parched, kids go to a house in the woods, drink water from a natural spring, then start (barely) attacking each other.
It’s definitely no Evil Dead or even a good knock off, but one thing completely makes this film for me: this guy, the cameraman.
This isn’t really even a comedy, but right from the car ride, when he talks about two brothers that transitioned and became sisters, and how he is in touch with his own feminine side, I knew he was going to be fun.
Granted, he’s no fun when he’s filming tons of nature footage to pad the running time, but eventually he starts to see his friends, high on water, out in the woods acting strange.
Being the only one who didn’t drink the water, he ends up having to take on all the angry friends. They don’t have demon eyes, they don’t have gnarly infected face, there’s very little blood.
This is a bland film, but there are signs of what it could have been if it had spent more time on the kids being wild and attacking each other…and the cute camera guy reacting to all of it. This is a kid who’s forced to stab one girl to death with a pitchfork, then cries, “You’re too hot to die!”
I laughed out loud at this line and several of his others when he gets to shine in the last few scenes. The old man he runs into as he’s trying to get away also delivers lines in a way that’s really humorous. They’re both more entertaining than even the big twist at the end.