It’s so refreshing when the endless risks I take selecting movies to watch based on poster art and 2-sentence descriptions totally pay off quite nicely. Even better when it happens three times in a week! So here’s what I got out of backwoods slasher My Little Sister, killer occult flick Cursed to Kill, and home invasion flick Lake Alice.
MY LITTLE SISTER (2016)
As cliché as My Little Sister may seem, if you’re into the whole backwoods killer/crazed family/torture lair thing, I personally think it’s gritty and grisly enough and goes to enough odd places to keep you entertained without the usual been-there-done-that mainstream horror formula.
The opening torture porn will definitely pull you in, that’s for sure, with boobs, face peeling, gutting…you know, the good stuff.
Next a couple hiking through the woods is immediately faced with some bad signs. Their friends are missing from their campsite. There’s an odd old lady in white acting all hippie happy. And there’s a weirdo with an axe who warns them to leave before “My Little Sister” gets them and rips off their faces.
Instead, they go in their tent and have sex. Sigh.
The moment My Little Sister attacks, shit gets hardcore. The main girl is separated from her man, running for her life through the woods…and then stumbling upon a house that she decides to go inside. Sigh.
All I can say is, this movie gets strange and simply isn’t your usual backwoods slasher. But it sure is dark and vicious. Just the way the killer straps your head to the wall so you can’t move it when he gives you a skin peel… EEK!
CURSED TO KILL (aka: Patient) (2016)
Drag Me To Hell in a hospital bed?
I don’t know why I think Cursed to Kill has one of the most ridiculous premises ever…or why I found it to be so ridiculously entertaining.
(Un)lucky to get away alive from a cult suicide, this chick ends up in the hospital, where she is visited by an evil old lady from the cult, who curses her.
Let’s just say that the curse pretty much guarantees that anyone who comes to visit her for too long is turned into mincemeat right before her very eyes!
In between visitors coming in and being turned into pâté while the main girl, unable to talk or move, just lays there helpless to stop it, the old lady has a few other tricks up her sleeve to terrorize her and remind her the curse is real.
But honestly, the thrills are in the kills.
LAKE ALICE (2017)
Lake Alice transcends the usual cabin in the woods plot and kept me completely engrossed from start to finish, despite the actual horror not really kicking in until the final act.
Focusing on a young woman who brings her boyfriend to her family’s vacation house in the woods for Christmas to get to know her mother and father, the film and the actors do a great job of showing the very natural interactions between the characters. It also very quickly begins to make you feel uneasy, suspect of everything that’s going on in the town, and suspect of virtually half the cast…even though you have no idea what’s going to go wrong!
It just seems the family has extreme relationships with various locals, from very good to very bad, and we don’t know why. If the film has a fault, it’s that we don’t find out why in most cases, but it does make for some mysterious and tense confrontations that create a great sense of foreboding. The icy, snowy conditions outside add to the chilling atmosphere.
Ominous little hints creep in to suggest trouble is on the way, so when there is at last a knock on the door in the middle of the night, you’re virtually on the edge of your seat. The shit hits the fan within minutes, with a psycho in a hooded snow parka and ski mask causing the family to scatter and hide in terror.
The nonstop chaos that ensues is quite a treat, reminding me of old school thrillers from the late 80s/early 90s, with plenty of little devilish twists along the way.