In my never-ending effort to watch everything I can on streaming services, cable, and DVD in this world of hit or miss horror, I bring you three more recent flicks I viewed. And I only really despised one of them.
DARK FLOORS (2008)
Combine the Thir13en Ghosts remake with Silent Hill, and you’ve pretty much got Dark Floors. In my book, that means fun-fun-fun.
Interestingly, the movie is vastly conceived by hard rock horror band Lordi, and the members of the band appear as the monsters! Smartly, the film doesn’t go for a blaring hard rock soundtrack, but sticks to a score that fits the eerie tone. Only at the closing credits does a Lordi song play…”Beast Loose in Pardise,” recorded specifically for the movie.
A man and his autistic daughter are at a hospital for a special treatment when they become trapped in some sort of alternate dimension with a couple of other people. The dad, played by cutie Noah Huntley (Dracula: Untold, 28 Days Later, Event Horizon), looks uncannily like the main character from the Silent Hill 2 video game, right down to his clothes.
While Dark Floors is loaded with clichés of modern horror, it picks all the good ones to deliver a fun flick. There’s the old scary wheelchair patient in a corner, a screeching ghost, a collection of heavy hitting heavy metal monsters, bright floors going all decrepit and dark, and chase scenes galore. There’s a whole storyline involving the autistic girl, but who cares? I’m just in this one for the cheap thrills and chills.
WALLED IN (2009)
Honestly…WTF with this movie? Mischa Barton (Homecoming, The Sixth Sense, Apartment 1303, Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard) is assigned to oversee the demolition of an old building. There are still like four tenants there, including a weird old lady we see twice, a disgruntled tenant who swings an axe at “homewrecker” Mischa—after which we never see him again, and a woman and her teenage son, played by Cameron Bright (Twilight series, The Butterfly Effect, Final Girl).
While there’s a whole back story about people being walled inside the building, and we’re lead to believe either the killer or ghosts still roam the halls, this movie is seriously just about Cameron’s psycho teenage crush on Mischa. She ends up in a Silence of the Lambs type situation, with a basket being lowered down to her and everything. She also has a hole mate—the architect of the building, who supposedly masterminded the killings. Yet…he is trapped in his own building by a teenager? To make things even more ridiculous, the imprisoned architect apparently personally selected Mischa to be the one to kill him so he can be buried in the building like the others.
If you bother to watch this mess, take note of the singsong “1,2…3,4…” rhyme. Sorry, this one forever belongs to A Nightmare on Elm Street. Changing the words isn’t going to give it a new identity.
CHARLIE’S FARM (2014)
Move aside, Wolf Creek. Australia has a new crazed killer. It’s Charlie!
Tara Reid and her Australian friends go on a road trip to “Charlie’s Farm,” even though an old man at a bar warns them to stay away. A campfire story about a legend of the farm is actually shown to us in an effort to have something happen before something actually happens an hour into the movie. This pseudo-flashback has Bill Moseley digging into his House of 1000 Corpses character as a member of a psycho family in the middle of nowhere, and introduces us to little deformed Charlie.
Also filling the hour are fart humor, conversations about Charles Manson, and a beary chubby cute guy showing off his booty while skinny-dipping. Plus, once the friends make it to Charlie’s Farm and explore, another couple happens along to up the body count.
Finally, shit just hits the fan out of nowhere. It is so worth wading through the first hour to get to the fast and furious kills. The best of the awesome massacring involves castration. Nasty. Muscle bound former strongman competitor Nathan Jones plays adult Charlie. Sure, his face may look like shit, but he runs around with his beefy chest exposed. Also, former Jason Voorhees Kane Hodder shows up on the scene to box with Charlie. Topping it all off, Tara Reid gives us some classic Urban Legend throwback during her final girl chase scene, reminding us that she’s capable of doing better acting in the horror genre than Sharknado.
The big shocker is the whacked, abrupt ending. While it’s not what you expect, and you kind of feel letdown, it’s a fiendishly refreshing way to end a slasher.