Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews - By Fans For Fans



Directed by Andy Edwards.
Starring Alina Allison, Kierston Wareing, Horror, UK, 81 minutes.


Released in the UK On Digital and VOD 22nd January by Miracle Media.


It feels strange to think that the sinister visage of wife beating puppet Punch has not been used more in horror cinema, especially the slasher genre. Writer and director Andy Edwards, after working on the low budget British horror scene over the past few years, seizes on this opportunity with this seaside set shocker that sees a young woman fleeing for her life from a baseball wielding maniac who delights in hiding behind the creepy mask while cracking wise with a stream of one liners delivered in that nasal, screeching fashion that has unnerved captive audiences of children for generations.


Taking on the role of the potential Final Girl here is Frankie, played by Alina Allison, visiting her mother, Julia. Frankie’s decision to leave the small coastal town where she has spent her whole life for university, a decision that Julia refuses to take seriously, seemingly more annoyed at the fact that she will be losing a drinking and clubbing partner to tag on Instagram instead of any real parental feelings. No wonder then that Frankie cannot wait to leave when the fact that her father went missing years before in somewhat mysterious circumstances is brought to light along with the unwelcome and leery presence of her mother’s new boyfriend Elton. Convinced to indulge in one last night of partying with her best friend, Frankie soon finds herself at the centre of a killing spree when a masked killer begins to pursue her.


This is a curious beast of a film that attempts to do something more than the usual slasher beats we are all more than familiar with. After working in the low budget field for several years Edwards knows how to bring an appealing visual style that is a cut above the usual low budget slasher fare, forgoing the usual overhead drone shots that have become so prevalent in recent years. The atmosphere of a run-down seaside town is evoked nicely and concisely and sets the film on an interesting angle. The character work in these early stages is also well written and performed, especially by Kierston Wareing as Julia.


Crude dialogue and crass characters come to the forefront pitching itself into more familiar territory. The film gives itself over to one prolonged chase sequence that takes up most of the the film's second half. However, by the films end, Edwards dips into folk-horror territory setting the film up with a refreshingly nasty conclusion. Hints are dropped throughout the film that we are headed this way although it still feels a little rushed to successfully go along with the rest of the film in a cohesive fashion, this refreshing aspect gives the film enough of its own flavour to stand out in the crowded field it starts off in.


A tighter focus on how to harness these elements would have made for a more successful and perhaps memorable film, but Edwards seems to have the know-how and ambition to deliver something more than the usual low-budget slasher cliches that seems to suggest that something even more satisfying lies in wait for us.


Iain MacLeod.


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Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews
By Fans For Fans