Tag: slasher

The Graves

by on Apr.09, 2010, under Daily Review

Bill Moseley and Tony Todd were enough to get my attention here, never mind the talents of Clare Grant and Jillian Murray as the Graves sisters. Brian Pulido has pulled together quite a cast, but it seems he didn’t have a plan once he’d got them. A basic plot of cat n mouse set in the Arizona desert sees the two sister hunted by the crazy religious hicks.

Has it all been done before, and have we anything original here? Hills have Eyes, Texas Chainsaw. What’s the real point here? OK, so there is a supernatural element thrown in for good measure, but for me, this didn’t really work. The religious emphasis is what carries this film, although it takes a good hour to really get to the point at which stage Tony Todd steals the show, with the help of a swarm of flies and a gas which turns people into crazy things, demonically possessed.  

Moseley is brilliant, but it doesn’t seem like he’s getting any kind of direction. He’s read the script, wind him up and let him go, and he’s excellent. I can’t say as much to Grant and Murray who fall at the first hurdle. I’m not blaming the girls as they show real presence, but without the encouragement, we have a stage school performance from the pair. Actions and reactions from the Graves are crazy at times but mostly unrealistic. This is a problem with plot, and direction more than their ability which is misguided.

Misguided is a word which not only sums up the direction towards the actors, but also the plot as a whole. It’s all over the place. It could have been quite an interesting piece if kept a little simpler, more along the lines of Wickerman meets Chainsaw with Christianity. But, take Todd and Moseley out of this film and you have even less. Never mind.

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The Final

by on Apr.08, 2010, under Daily Review

Director Joey Stewart has hit the nail on the head with this one. A fine piece of nastiness with a brilliant look and feel. It’s simple and genius in its structure with the basic idea of teen outcast revenge. The films strength is in the perfect casting of top quality unknown young actors, nurtured with great direction and a good honest script. Top marks.

After years of school bullying and abuse, the local outcast nerds decide to take revenge on the ‘in’ crowd; The jocks and cheerleaders, the beautiful popular kids who laugh at the underprivileged and different kids of the school. Enough is enough. Dane (Marc Donato) teams up his underdogs and plots a super fancy dress party for the cool kids. Little do they know they’ll be drugged and tortured until they wish they’d been murdered.

Lindsay Seidal plays Emily, one of the odd kids who shows so much potential here. A stunning, yet unnerving scene has her poking needles in the neck of a jock, graced with a plane white mask for the performance. Whilst Julin is on the other side of the team as Heather, super bitch who takes an acid facial. Julin has terrific screen presence. But the star of the film has to be Jasca Washington as Kurtis, the cool kid who mixes in both and all camps in the school. He’s a strong and confident actor who is gonna be around for a very long time. Stunning.

Stewart has created something quite special here. It’s a nice simple film which pushes its cast to the limits of their ability. Some scenes are harsh, but super original. The use of a cow bolt gun to take out a knee cap is great, whilst one of the underdogs plucks on a banjo has connotations of Deliverance. A torturous spin on ‘Heathers’.

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