“THEY CAME IN PEACE…THEY LEFT IN PIECES”
Category: Cannibal/Backwoods Horror, Horror-Comedy, Splatter/Gore
Directed by: Alex Chandon
Written by: Alex Chandon, Paul Shrimpton
Starring: Jo Hartley, Seamus O’Neil, James Doherty, James Burrows, Neil Leiper, Dominic Brunt, Emily Booth
Music: Dave Andrews
Cinematography: Ollie Downey
This has been on my list for awhile but I’ve been a bit apprehensive to watch it due to poor reviews. Then I caught the full trailer for it looking for a preview of The Shrine, so I finally watched it this morning before work. I should know better than to take horror movie reviews seriously from general or critics reviews.
Two caseworkers take four troubled youths out to a cabin in the middle of nowhere for a vacation and team building activities. Turns out that the creepy, deformed townsfolk don’t take kindly to outsiders, and start to kill them off in a deranged circus sideshow-like event. The gang must work together to escape.
This is a delightful gore fest! I’ve been wanting to watch a super gory flick for the past few weeks and after quite a few flicks I was finally rewarded with this. Tons of gruesome kills, with a healthy mix of practical effects and CGI. Limbs sawed off, heads blown apart and someone even explodes spraying their guts everywhere. Gorehounds won’t be disappointed by the slew of creative death scenes. It’s shot very well too, great look and feel to the movie as well as excellent camera work. The setting truly makes you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere.
The actors portraying our main characters are all great with really well written dialogue. They’re all likeable and believable. There are some moments where you want to yell at the screen for them being stupid, but it’s forgivable. Most of the movie makes their situation seem completely hopeless, the odds are really stacked up against these guys. This is supposed to be seen as a horror comedy, but it’s almost so bleak and you like the protagonists so much that it’s kind of a bummer to see them killed. I still couldn’t help but laugh when someone got butchered (well I even do that when it’s not a “comedy” themed movie) but I was still rooting for them, hoping that the freakish inbreds were on the receiving end of the violence more often. But then again, I would hate to have such well put together characters left underdeveloped for the sake of making the body count more comedic. As for the locals, they’re all truly demented but some are almost cartoonish and a bit too ridiculous to be believable, although I guess this movie is really meant to be over the top.
This was a very fun watch, I highly recommend it. The main issue is that the tone is a little muddy, it’s not funny enough to be a horror comedy but it can’t be taken too seriously either, otherwise it’ll just seem too grim. I can see why some people gave it a bad review, it’s not a cookie cutter horror flick, it breaks some rules associated with typical cinema format, but I think that was a plus since you had know idea how shit was going to go down. I’m going to keep an eye out for Alex Chandon’s next movie, I have high hopes for him. If you love gratuitous gore and can stomach watching some likeable characters suffer then definitely check this out.