Well, the time has finally arrived, and not a moment too soon (or too late). This week I take a modest stab at reviewing David Robert Mitchell’s fantastic and flirty feature: It Follows. It’s safe to say that so far all opinions have been super favorable. Some claim it’s the scariest movie this year, while others even say it’s the scariest film in decades. One thing is for certain. No matter how you look at it, this movie will stick with you for well longer than you’d care to admit.
Right from the start, I was mesmerized by all the usual suspects: gorgeous cinematography, a fantastic and suspense-building soundtrack, and….death. Yep, all of that within moments of the opening credits. Though filmed in Michigan, the neighborhood we’re introduced to took me right back to Haddonfield, and the music and camerawork were very reminiscent of the same era of genre films that we have all come to love and adore. I’ve never claimed to be able to adequately express how or why I enjoy a film, and It Follows was no exception. I mean I can be vague and say “Oooh I loved the music!” or “Wow it looks just like an old school horror film” but if you’re reading this expecting me to wax poetic and bedazzle your horror loins with words I have to LMGTFY, then you should probably stop reading now.
Let’s dive in. It Follows...well, follows a young girl and her small group of close friends as they try to outrun the outrunable. What might that be, you ask? Well, sex of course. Duh. Our main girl Jay (played by Maika Monroe) decides to make whoopee with a boy, and from there on out, all hell breaks loose. She’s going to have to pay for her sins one way or another, and all she can do is rely on her friends to help her at every turn defeat this lurking presence.
Simple enough plot I’d say, but what makes this an absolutely innovative and electrifying film on such a different level is the manner in which sex plays its part. In about ALL of the horror films I’ve ever seen, any couple having sex doesn’t make it after they make it. That’s it. Nothing transpires much past the showering off afterwards, and that’s being lenient. Horror movie + teens + sex = instant death and/or dismemberment. There is no variable. Above all, what I applaud It Follows for is the constant barrage of post-coital terror and anticipation of demise that carries on throughout the entire course of the movie, not just the repetitive post-ejaculatory barbarianism to which we are all so accustomed. This has definitely transformed the role of sex in the modern horror film henceforth. Sex got a horror movie makeover from Mr. Mitchell, and from now on it’s going to be an uppity bitch about it.
Every minute, every line, every subtle nuance, and every terrifying scene of this film 100% supports the effectiveness and raw believability of this new take on an age-old concept. There is no loose skin and there is no Dog & Pony show. You catch it by fucking. You get rid of it by fucking. It’s a vicious fuck-cycle. Circle circle, dot dot, THIS was the personification of a goddamned cootie shot.
7.5 sex-drenched cleavers. Don’t hesitate. Go watch this film as soon as you’re able. I can say no more.
Reelbloodies! My god, we’ve done it! We have put to bed the zombie movie review streak, ending with the most Allowable of zombie flicks ever, Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead. Though it will be in my normal rotation henceforth, I can’t say I’m going to miss zombie movies in general for a long while. We definitely covered the wide array of the cinematic undead. Alas, we shall proceed now. Onward we go into the deep and lush forestry of the Great White North. Our journey takes us to the gorgeous country of Canada, where many of my fave scary flicks have been shat forth from some absolutely great horror minds. One of those minds is Adam MacDonald, a fine gent with whom I had the pleasure of interviewing earlier in the year. I saw him in a cool little horror film called Home Sweet Home, and upon further investigation discovered he wrote and directed the movie we will talk about today: Backcountry. You can read my interview with Adam over on our Interviews page when you’re done with this, but for now let’s talk about the film itself. Actually, should we get all of the puns out of the way now? Yes, let’s paws and do that real quick...
Ok, did you get them all out of your system fur now? Good. Let’s proceed.
Based on true events, Backcountry follows nostalgic and nature-loving Alex (played wonderfully by Jeff Roop) and his somewhat uptight city-dwelling girlfriend Jenn (Missy Peregrym) as they spend the weekend camping in the Canadian wilderness. It’s not long after their journey begins that Alex’s stubborn attitude and overzealous demeanor single-handedly lead the couple astray and into harm’s way. The trip takes an unfortunate direction (or misdirection as it turns out) and the couple faces their toughest challenge of all: a black bear…a very hungry and determined black bear. This sets into place their fight for survival by any means necessary, proving once and for all that men just simply need to ask for directions for god’s sake. Seriously, that stigma has existed for far too long and in the case of Backcountry (and every road trip I’ve taken my wife on), the results are disastrous.
With every ounce of survival instinct and desire to return from whence they came, the couple gives it their all to make it back to safety. Will they make it? Will they become the main course on a silver platter alongside acorns and berries, devoured by this determined beast? You’re going to have to watch and find out. Oh, don’t worry…you won’t have to wait long. Backcountry will be available in theaters in select cities and various VOD platforms this Friday, 3/20.
The movie is definitely a solid effort by MacDonald. It’s horror, no doubt, but not in the sense of slashers and demented clowns and satanic baby goat slayings. The true horror of this film lies in its ability to feed off of the age old story of man vs. nature. The fact that the film is based on true events only solidifies that notion, and MacDonald plays to it perfectly. That first time you see and hear that bear, you know it’s all business from that point on. It’s a slow burn, and there are no twists and turns (you’ll hear no complaint from me with either of those traits). It’s a straight forward and effective film that wastes no time tapping into that primal fear of the unknown as well as the very obvious fear of meeting your own demise at the hands of well, a wild fucking black bear. The potential of coming face to face with your own mortality is essentially one of the truest forms of horror I’ve come to know. Backcountry feeds off of that exceedingly well. You'll definitely want to go check out this nature thriller. You'll definitely think twice before loading the SUV down with camping gear for the weekend.
I’m giving this a solid 6.5 out of 10 cleavers, and I’ll be watching it again soon. You can follow the film for all the latest updates via Twitter and FB.
I will save you guys my cliche hello and welcome that I normally start my reviews with and jump right into this week’s film, Backcountry. This is the story of a couple who goes on a camping trip and find themselves trapped and preyed upon by a black bear. In short, I would say this film is a Blair Witch Project meets The Great Outdoors, only this big bear was not as forgiving as the one John Candy encountered.
Backcountry is written and directed by Adam MacDonald and stars Missy Peregrym (hottie alert), and Jeff Roop. Like I stated earlier, this is the story of a couple who goes on a camping trip and find themselves basically harassed by a black bear. The acting in the film was top notch, and as you all know, the acting is always a big deal for me. Missy and Jeff both do an outstanding job portraying a couple that slowly begins to be tested as time goes on. One thing I will say however is that this is a very cliche couple. Did I really use the word cliche twice (now three times) in this review? Okay anyway, the couple is your typical “the man knows everything about nature while the female is reluctant to leave her cell phone behind and is paranoid about any and everything she hears or sees on the trip”. Yea, it is typical, but in this case, it works.
This may seem like a short review but I will just cut straight to it. Backcountry is good. It is not great. I think the issue I had is that it is very slow. There is no true action or anything for a while and I found myself just wanting to see some flesh get torn off someone’s face. This is not a knock on the writer or cast at all. There is really only so much you can do with a killer bear, because it is nature. A black bear really has no motive except for maybe being hungry or you screw with their cub. A bear does not have the mental capacity to truly WANT to just harm someone.
Now yes, the film was slow, but I will say this...when the shit goes down, it is worth the wait. Well worth the wait.
I will close by saying that Backcountry is worth a watch. Is it something you would want to watch over and over? Probably not, but you need to see it once.
Based on the great acting, and the grand finale at the end, I will give Backcountry a solid 6 out of 10 cleavers.
Well, three times the charm…that’s what they say, right? If there was ever any doubt in my mind to the validity of such a phrase, I now have absolutely none. Case in point: the last 2 reviews from your good ol’ chums at ReelBloody have been zombie flicks. Going back, we first looked at Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard….ok ok, fair enough. I didn’t hate it. Last week we checked out a small YouTube series turned horror film called Dead Kansas. THAT was a rough one to sit through, albeit a mere 60 minutes. So that brings us to this week. I had been in contact with Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead director Kiah Roache-Turner for a hot minute and we were able to finally align the stars and he hooked us up with a viewing. Holy. Shitballs. I let Wyrmwood shower down upon me all the blood and gore and laughter and action that it could, and I’m drenched…in more ways than one.
This action packed zombie thriller fires right out of the gates with a melee of fast and furious adrenaline unlike anything you’ve ever seen. I’m not kidding. It’s horror-fueled action on cocaine. Once it starts, it doesn’t stop for 90+ minutes. It injected me with a refreshed view of zombies and everything undead, unlike The Walking Dead which has been beating zombies in the ground relentlessly (and boringly) the past couple years. Wyrmwood makes TWD look like Sesame Street. It pleases me oh so greatly. Amen.
The story behind Wyrmwood is quite simple really. In this case, the devil’s in the details. We find a family man Barry (played by Jay Gallagher) whose life has crumbled before his eyes as the zombie apocalypse is just beginning. Miles away, his sister (Bianca Bradey as the ever-badass Brooke) has been kidnapped by a group of weapon-wielding militiamen. Their plan is to subject her to various scientific experiments at the hands of a deranged lunatic of a scientist. Barry’s plan: to do whatever it takes to get to her and save her from certain doom, and I absolutely mean whatever it takes. Along the way, Barry hooks up with a few survivors and Brooke hooks up with some new discoveries of her own: ones that may serve her and her brother well. That is, if he can get to her.
I just can’t say enough about how fantastic this movie was. I sat and watched for over an hour and a half and was treated to so many emotions. I chewed my nails down to the bloody bed. I laughed…hysterically at times. My eyes bulged with delight as gruesome blood and guts splattered across the screen. I sat in awe of how amazing the costume design was, how brave and selfless the cast was, and how fantasticly the special effects were executed. You know me, and you know I hate slow, sluggish, dumb-as-fuck zombies. These undead creatures were so much more, and for great reason. The Roache-Turner brothers (Kiah’s brother Tristan co-wrote and produced) have created a badass and unique take on a way-overdone subgenre, and they totally fucking pulled it off.
Hands down, this was one of my most favorite movies to watch and review since ReelBloody’s inception. I’m giving it a solid 8 because I feel like a 9 or 10 doesn’t truly exist in the horror genre, so consider this my most favorable review. Chances are I’ll be watching this again and again. I tip my hat to the entire cast, including but not limited to Jay Gallagher, Bianca Bradey, Leon Burchill, & Keith Agius. Tons of fanboy love also to the Roache-Turner bros for restoring my faith in the zombie culture. Man….I cannot WAIT until Wyrmwood 2! Oh, you didn’t know? Shame, shame.
Follow the film via the Big 3 social media platforms by searching wyrmwoodmovie. After you follow the, go watch the film via Amazon Instant Video.
I feel like it has been awhile since I reviewed a movie, and as I sit here on Friday the 13th, I cannot wait to review the one I just watched yesterday.
The film this week is titled Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead. It was written and directed by Kiah Roache-Turner and stars Jay Gallagher and Bianca Bradey. Tristan Roache-Turner also was a writer for this film alongside Kiah. The premise of the film is pretty much that the zombie apocalypse has begun and not only does Barry (played by Gallagher) have to rescue his sister Brooke (played by Bradey) from a group of sick and twisted soldiers and a very psychotic doctor, but of course he has to battle zombies along the way.
I will kick off this review by simply saying WOW!!! As most of our regular readers know, I am not a zombie fan....at all. I simply cannot name one "zombie film" that I claim to be a fan of. I am not knocking the genre at all, it just isn't my thing. In my opinion zombies and vampires are extremely played out and it is time for something new. HOWEVER, Wyrmwood was simply amazing. I usually try to save my overall assessment of a film to the very end of my review but I cannot. Not only did I like Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead, but I would watch it again and again. This is by far, 100%, the best zombie film I have ever seen.
What makes it so great you ask? Well, first off, it is not your typical brain eating, slow walking, zombie movie. This shit is filled with action from the very get go til the bitter end. From the very start of the film, you realize that it is going to be an intense, gore filled ride, and I loved every second of it. Also, what I truly admired about the film is that the protagonists are not just battling zombies, there are side plots and other hurdles to avoid along the way. The acting was top notch, especially that of Bianca Bradey (she gets an A++++ for her efforts in my opinon). Not only did Bianca bust out a kick ass performance, but the rest of the cast did an amazing job as well. The special effects were good, the story was unique, and the whole film was just extremely well made.
I really do not know what more to say except for this. I hate zombie movies, I think the Walking Dead TV show is a steaming pile of shit, Night of the Living Dead is a snooze fest, and anything to me that is zombie related is just played out....but Wyrmwood is absolutely brilliant!!
I am about to shock the horror world (or at least our readers) by giving Wyrmwood my highest rating ever on this site.
I am handing Kiah Roache-Turner, Bianca Bradey, and the rest of the Wyrmwood cast, crew, and writers EIGHT out of TEN Cleavers.
Damn right!!! If you do not see this film, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.
Well, this week we’re carrying on with the zombie theme and checking out a little whatchaknow called “Dead Kansas”, written by Aaron K Carter. What started out as a series of YouTube videos was edited together to form this fun little zombie flick that runs for a very succinct 63 minutes.
I’m not gonna lie. While I wasn’t blown away with the film, I did enjoy the story. You’re immediately immersed into a community plagued by what they call “rottens”. A small band of hoodlums makes plans to kidnap the local farmer’s daughter (yes, that’s what I said) for profit but things soon go awry. Dead Kansas is fun loving, not too overly dramatic, and full of shenanigans. I’d say that’s a great recipe for fun, wouldn’t you? I mean I saw carnies, a Colonel Sanders lookin’ motherfucker, what appeared to have probably been a heroic house slave, and the main character was played by 2 different actresses (evidence of this originating as a YouTube series).
I’d say to definitely give it a watch if you’ve got the spare hour. It’ll be over before you realize it. Hands down, this was no horror film. Sure, it had horror elements, but it was obviously a comedy. From the portrayal of overly stereotyped hillbilly folk and undertones of blatant racism, to the zombie sound effects (you almost never see a single zombie), this was a film you’d laugh at years before you’d think about being horrified. You know what, though? It works for the film. I’m not bashing it by any means, just explaining how it came across.
Most notably, this quick & quirky cinematic queef features appearances by Irwin Keyes (House of 1000 Corpses) and the late Ben Woolf, known mostly for his role on the American Horror Story series. They were definitely nice additions to an otherwise forgettable film.
I’ll give this one 3 cleavers, because at least Carter’s story was original. I hate to ever criticize someone’s imagination, and I definitely don’t do that here in this case. The execution is what took away from the film for me. It’s like creating a delicious recipe, except you fucked it up and the dish doesn’t taste as good as you imagined.