One is based on a popular horror author’s novel. One features plenty of recognizable faces. And one is a total indie. So which movie about a bunch of unsuspecting kids dying at the hands of a vicious presence out in the wild did I like the best?
Horror novelist Jack Ketchum adapts his novel Offspring (sequel to another book) into a movie about a family being terrorized by a bunch of cannibal cave dwellers who look like some sort of tribesmen from an episode of Gilligan’s Island. WTF?
The gore is pretty good and brutal and Art Hindle, who played the dad in The Brood so many years ago, has a small role, but the movie is a sloppy, melodramatic mess. There’s an awful subplot about one chick whose abusive man is coming for her…and when he finally finds her, it’s in the cannibal cave. He’s such a prick that he convinces the cannibals to eat her then watches with a gleeful smile on his face. Bad. Real bad.
The film was followed by a sequel, The Woman, which I blog about here.
THE CULLING (2015)
Next, there’s SyFy Network worthy The Culling. Sigh. A group of friends heading to a concert runs into a scared little girl during a pit stop. They drive her to her secluded home in the woods, where her parents invite them for dinner.
Things go bump in the night, there are creepy dolls, a black misty CGI apparition chases everyone around the house, and apparently there are scary little kids running amok in the woods. But we don’t see much of anything other than a bunch of actors running around in the dark screaming.
Those actors include familiar TV faces and horror movie faces:
Johnathon Schaech (Laid to Rest 2, Quarantine, Prom Night, Hush, Poison Ivy 2)
Jeremy Sumpter (Friday Night Lights, An American Crime, Animal, Excision)
Elizabeth Di Prinzio (Scary or Die, The Devil Within, Blood Mask: The Possession of Nicole Lameroux)
Brett Davern (Awkward)
Chris Coy (The Walking Dead, Deliver Us from Evil, Hostel III, True Blood)
Linsey Godfrey (Altergeist)
None of that helps. It may be a supernatural horror film, but The Culling has no spirit or soul.
3 TUNNELS 2 HELL (aka: Serenity Farm) (2015)
3 Tunnels 2 Hell appears to be one of those films that only a Dan can love. There’s a backstory about a guy inheriting a little island, and at first it appears this is just going to be another low-budget slasher, with kids delivering hokey dialogue before going off into the woods one by one and being killed off screen. There are even sex scenes, which we have way too little of in horror these days. But that’s not even the good part.
These kids end up in this underground bunker building. I don’t know where the hell the filmmakers found this shooting location but it makes the second part of the film a whole different game. This place is a nightmare: super dark and isolated with claustrophobically tight passages inhabited by a mish-mosh of different kinds of creepy as hell baddies that make horrible animal sounds and pop up around every shadowy corner. Plus, they do some serious man-eating. Oh yeah. Things get gory.
Essentially, it’s Night of the Demons meets The Descent with a little Cabin Fever thrown in, and shot in an abandoned building that makes the Session 9 set look like Disneyland. And the movie delivers one seriously cruel final zinger. Trash low-budget indie horror all you want, but I live for those times when filmmakers deliver nightmarish settings, atmosphere, and scenarios despite limited resources.