Taking on the After Dark Horrorfest flicks I missed Part 2

Time for five more After Dark Horrorfest films I had yet to see, and I’d say most of this batch is better than the last set, with one being an all-time favorite of the series so far.

AUTOPSY (2008)

Every After Dark Horrorfest film should live up to the midnight movie madness of this one from the director of the Night of the Demons remake.

After leaving Mardi Gras, a group of friends gets in a car accident. They are brought to a hospital to be checked out…and all immediately split up.

This desolate hospital has it all: it’s eerily quiet and empty, there’s plenty of lighting right out of an Argento movie, creepy patients lurk in the shadows, and horror and sci-fi king Robert Patrick plays a mad doctor.

Sure it’s all cliché with minimal character development, but this is a gorefest purely for the entertainment of it, and it’s awesome. The horror atmosphere is ideal, and these poor kids get “operated” on left and right…without anesthesia. Ouch.

Most importantly, after she involuntarily stars in some torture porn, the final girl kicks ass. This is definitely one of my all-time favorite After Dark films.

SLAUGHTER (2009)

If, like me, you’re a fan of good old “rednecks with a human slaughterhouse on their farm” movies, you should like this one despite a ridiculously uninspired title. And yet I wasn’t enthralled with it…although I now realize why as I start to write this blog about it.

A young woman named Faith is trying to escape her abusive boyfriend, who keeps finding her. She befriends a young woman in a bar, and soon she goes to live on the friend’s family farm.

They get along great at first, but things start getting weird when Faith realizes the friend is a bit of a slut that likes to bring guys home to fuck.

Meanwhile, the friend’s dad is cold and distant…and the closest you get to a hillbilly here. Which I think is why this one was a letdown. There’s just nothing very ominous about this film. Sure there’s a building the dad doesn’t want anyone going into on the farm, but there also isn’t some mutant inbreed in hiding or anything like that.

As a result, the slow burn of Faith finally getting the courage to go into the building isn’t very suspenseful. The final cat and mouse chase around the farm at the end is okay, but there is no gore and no genuine scares. It’s just very flat.

THE BROKEN (2008)

It always annoys me when novels or movies start off with some profound quote from a horror master like Edgar Allan Poe, as this one does. It’s like, stand on your own damn merits, especially if you can’t live up to the genius of the person you’re quoting.

The Broken is too much of a slow burn for the cliché plot that unfolds, and lacks suspense or scares.

A woman is shocked to see herself walking down the street one day. She ends up getting into a car accident after, and when she recovers she feels like everyone in her life is not actually the same anymore.

Visual references to mirrors abound as she unravels the truth of what’s going on. Quite honestly, the final twist is the best part of a derivative plot that—dare I say—mirrors a doppelgänger themed horror/sci-fi classic.

PERKINS’ 14 (2009)

Although it’s slow at first and a heavy character study, I really enjoy the way Perkins’ 14 starts off as a story of a sheriff trying to solve a decade’s worth of missing person cases in his small town—including that of his own son. He thinks he has made a breakthrough when the man believed to have abducted everyone ends up in one of his prison cells.

What follows is a sadistic verbal mind game as the prisoner antagonizes the sheriff as he tries to draw out the details of the crimes.

And then, midway through…

 

This becomes an infected movie! People in town start getting attacked by vicious crazies, and the sheriff is forced to change course to save the rest of his family.

The infected are traditionally manic (always a good thing), the action and suspense are great, and there’s nasty gore. This is classic infected horror.

My only disappointment here is that the sheriff’s fatal flaw, wanting to believe he can find and save the son he hasn’t seen in ten years, is too fatal and causes unthinkable devastation.

VOICES (2007)

Eh. Coming from a decade that gave us some great Asian horror that got under the skin, this one is a huge disappointment. It’s essentially a tame supernatural thriller.

 

It’s as simple as this. A school girl is present at a wedding that leads to her aunt jumping or being pushed off a balcony. Pretty soon, everyone in the girl’s life seems to be attempting to take her life.

It’s a curse. A family jealousy curse. She spends the whole movie dodging knife blades as everyone tries to kill her. Yawn.

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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