A group of young adults travel to a rented house in the middle of nowhere to make a porn movie. However once there they attract the attention of the elderly couple who own the property who are not exactly in approval of their guest’s brand of filmmaking.
Ti West is a director I may have watched all the movies of so far and he’s proved a consistent talent in the horror genre, most notably his debut The House of the Devil. This latest effort, set in the seventies goes for the sort of grind house exploitation of The Last House on the Left and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Whilst the setup is familiar, the porno plot gives it a bit of a unique spin at least.
Like several of the director’s other movies this is a slow burn, focusing largely on the characters and the movie being made rather than actual horror. When it comes though there are some effective, gory kills and the elderly couple prove freaky if not particularly scary antagonists (not helped by the fact the elderly characters are clearly younger actors in elderly makeup). Also rather than going for scares, the horror often focuses on being repulsive or gross (the bed scene). Overall this was still entertaining and had a welcome tongue-in-cheek humour throughout. Worth a watch, but there’s better horror movies out there.
I wasn’t exactly blown away with the surprise sleeper hit that was the first movie, but it was still fun if trashy entertainment with a break out turn from Samara Weaving. However it clearly was popular enough to spawn a sequel. Set three years after the first movie, nerdy kid Cole is now in High School and labelled a bit of a nutcase as he told a lot of people about his babysitter’s satanic blood cult. So yeah he’s having trouble fitting in. One day though his best friend invites him to a getaway on a boat out in the wilderness – yeah, isolated in the middle of nowhere, nothing bad is going to happen, right?
Directed again by McG (Terminator Salvation) this is trying sooooo hard to be a self-referential horror version of Scott Pilgrim vs The World. It has the crazy editing, video game references, and a funky soundtrack. Oh and plenty of CGI gore. The deaths in the last movie were a major plus, and the same goes here – even if they often look incredibly fake. This is not helped by a script that is painfully unfunny, which really needs to be funny. The cast, with many returning faces from last time, are constantly spouting what they think is clever, pop-culture fused dialogue but it has very forced delivery that just falls flat. It all screams of trying too hard.
Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed some of McG’s movies in the past, and his style can work given better material … but this just feels lazy. There’s times when it looks like it’s happening on a cheap sound stage, and I could have sworn one bit looked like terrible green screen, and it even has a jump scare that makes zero sense (a peeing gag). The ending was a slight step up, with an interesting twist – but overall this really wasn’t worth it.
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