Sharni Vinson (Step Up 3D, Bait)
Barbara Crampton (Chopping Mall, Re-Animator, From Beyond)
AJ Bowen (The House of the Devil, Among Friends)
Joe Swanberg (V/H/S, Drinking Buddies)
A rich family gets together for a reunion of sorts only to be hunted by a gang of masked killers.
Don’t let the structure fool you; this is not your average slasher film. The whole thing was incredibly intelligent and didn’t fall into the usual horror cliches. A good example: when one of the family members manages to get the upper hand on a villain, this person makes sure he is dead. None of this “killer gets knocked out but gets back up” nonsense. It was refreshing, and I appreciated it.
The movie had the look of a late 70s/early 80s flick and wore it like a badge of honor. The pace was brisk, the kills were brutal, and the blood flowed in buckets. No lame ass PG-13 stuff here! This was real horror for real horror fans!
The score was an 80s synth overdose. It fit the film so well and never felt out of place.
The tension in the movie was some of the best I’ve seen in a while. As things were going along, I genuinely had no idea who was next on the chopping block. I will admit a few moments I saw coming, but there were more than enough things that came at me straight out of left field. Impressive!
The logic in the film worked very well. Things were explained and not over-explained. They actually had the guts to make a film that didn’t treat the audience like a bunch of idiots! Thank you!
I was also very happy to see everything wrapped up within the film. No loose ends and no real reason for them to make a sequel. This is a movie that will stand defiantly on it’s own two feet and feel like a fully fleshed out production. So many movies these days are wrapped up in the potential to make franchises, they often forget that the first film still needs to be good in order for it to become a series.
Sharni Vinson completely stole the show here. She was outstanding in every way. Loved her performance.
Horror veteran and all-around legend Barbara Crampton was great as the mother. Even though she hasn’t acted in horror in quite a while, she showed she still knows how it’s done. Plus, she’s in her 50s and still looks sexy as hell!
Director Ti West (The House of the Devil) showed up in a small role, and it was cool to see him on the big screen.
The rest of the cast was impressive and really filled out the whole thing. No weak links here!
Prior to this, I had only seen Adam Wingard’s work in his segment of V/H/S. After seeing this, I really need to check out his back catalog. His shots were framed like a pro, and the guy knows how to pour as much tension into a scene as possible. Definitely a new name in horror to keep an eye on.
The movie premiered at the TIFF festival back in 2011, and Lionsgate purchased the rights at that time. They then proceeded to sit on it until now and release it in theaters in August, which is a dump month for horror. What were they thinking? From what I heard, audiences loved the film, which is why LG snagged it. Why, then, do nothing with it for two years and then release it to very little fanfare at the end of the summer, especially when “The Conjuring” is doing incredibly well and “Insidious 2” is expected to blow up the box office? Why not release it in mid-October? They really blew it with this one.
With an impressive cast, fantastic direction, and a mean streak about a mile wide, I can’t recommend this enough. I’m seriously considering seeing this in the theater again. If you have had it with the boring, paint-by-numbers horror we have been spoon-fed the past few years, this is the antidote.
Beyond the movie itself which was awesome, I love the poster they used to promote the film at Comic-con. One of the most clever designs I’ve seen in ages. (see below)