These slashers are the stuff of children’s nightmares

British directors are pumping out slashers almost faster than I can find them on streaming services to devour and then cover on my site. The latest trio I binged takes on classic children’s nursery rhymes and beloved stories. Each one also happens to feature a British scream queen named May Kelly, but I’ve decided to anoint her as Lindsay Clonehan because she is a total Lindsay Lohan clone, right down to the vocal fry. She’s racked up roles in movies like Nutcracker Massacre, The Killing Tree, Easter Bunny Massacre, Curse of Humpty Dumpty 2, and Sky Monster.

MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB (2023)

This British nursery rhyme slasher is as templated as a backwoods family horror film can be, but it mostly does a good job of creating atmosphere, plus it has a great killer—my favorite of killer of this bunch.

Lindsay Clonehan stars as a true crime podcaster about to be out of a job because she’s not garnering enough listeners. So she decides to take her team to an area where people go missing all the time for a real juicy story.

They discover a house in the middle of nowhere…and a bunch of fog machines that seem to only work intermittently, leaving us with an inconsistent, patchy, foggy setting for the rest of the movie.

An older woman named Mary lives in the house. She says her son is upstairs. The group convinces her to let them stay for the night (so they can do some podcast investigating). Being true crime experts, they literally suspect this whole situation with this woman and her unseen son is bizarre in a place where people have gone missing, and yet…well, we know what happens next.

Slowly but surely they split up and start getting killed off by the “son”. You may think he’s wearing a lamb head as a mask, but this dude has an actual lamb head and growls like a bear. Therein lies the big problem with this film. There would be only one acceptable backstory for this lamb man…the mother was fucked by a sheep. How they could pass up this twisted opportunity is beyond me, but they do.

There are some great chase scenes and tension (the fricking lamb man runs really fast!), but the kills fail to make contact…meaning you can always tell the actors are not actually getting struck by the weapons being used against them. It’s a glaring issue in an otherwise tightly made flick. It packs in all the clichés we love–murders, chase scenes, the crazy mom, a gruesome dinner party, and…a Texas Chainsaw copycat conclusion that brings the film to an abrupt end that feels very unfinished. I sense a sequel. Maybe then we’ll get the sheep fucking angle?

THREE BLIND MICE (2023)

The opening scene of Three Blind Mice is a goodie, but it also ensures there’s no mystery in this movie. A girl and a dude in the woods end up in an abandoned underground lab where they are attacked by three mice men, which we get to see in their full glory immediately.

Lindsay Clonehan is our lead once again. She plays a druggy, and her family and friends take her to a house in the woods for an intervention.

Soon, the mice men are killing her friends and family left and right. The film definitely delivers on the gore, but it’s not quite scary and there isn’t much suspense, although there are several cat and mouse chase scenes…where, ironically, the mice men are the cat.

The first time Clonehan gets abducted and taken to the lab lair she gets away and goes back to the cabin. The mice men invade the house, leading to more of her friends and family becoming victims, and then she ends up back in the lab lair for the final act. It all becomes quite boring for a while, but she does conveniently find a video to watch that explains how the mice men came to be. Not to mention, she deserves the title of scream queen, because her screams rock.

The biggest disappointment for me is that none of the mice men have their tales cut off with a carving knife. Weren’t nursery rhymes just so cute?

WINNIE THE POOH: BLOOD AND HONEY (2023)

Rhys Frake-Waterfield, the director of this more commercially successful childhood horror flick, has directed numerous other indie slashers I’ve covered on my site (including The Killing Tree and Sky Monster starring Lindsay Clonehan), so I’m happy for him finally getting a higher profile release. Although this is the most popular of the three flicks I cover here, it suffers from the same mid-movie slowdown the other two do.

We first get a dark animated backstory involving the famous Winnie the Pooh characters. Basically, human boy Christopher Robin deserted his furry friends to go to college, causing them to turn into blood-thirsty murderers. Robin comes back when he’s older and ends up getting abducted by Pooh and Piglet. Pooh is quite a sadist. He keeps Robin chained up and whips him.

Meanwhile, a bunch of girls heads to a cabin in the woods. Here’s the bummer. Lindsay Clonehan gets lost on the way and becomes the first victim. Blah. What a waste of final girl material. However, she gets a good chase scene and a gruesome death.

Pooh and Piglet kill a minimal number of victims before the remainder of girls work together to try to stay alive. The movie really slows down for a while once Pooh and Piglet invade their home.

However, the final act is a blast. A group of rednecks shows up on the scene to try to help the girls, making the body count skyrocket instantly. Awesome. The majority of the blood (and honey) is definitely saved for the last 20 minutes or so.

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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