Sunday, 2 September 2018



For some unknown reason, this year's FrightFest opener didn't seem to go down to well. Maybe it was because as generic 80s throwback slashers go it simply didn't have any of the charm of the genuine originals. Maybe it was down to a thoroughly unlikeable bunch of potential victims that you were hard pressed to rustle up any sympathy for them once the mad killer belatedly set about his business. Maybe it was due to said mad killer not being terribly interesting as either remotely plausible human being or a horror bogeyman character except for his near-comedic obsession with reciting the National Park rulebook.

Whatever, the response was sadly lukewarm for a film that for all those faults was, at the very least, not terrible (and let's not forget that the cheesy outdoors slashers like The Final Terror and Just Before Dawn were hardly any better than "not terrible" at their very best). A group of loathsome punks on the run after a drugs raid hide out in a mountain cabin belonging to the late uncle of one of the girls, but the behaviour and antics of her friends (loud music, spraying paint on the trees) soon attract the homicidal ire of The Ranger, who knows our heroine of old (cue backstory flashbacks)....

It looks nice: only in the night scenes does it look like cheap digital rather than a decent stab at recapturing the look and feel of film, and it doesn't settle for endless boring scenes of bickering halfwits wandering around in the woods. It's also reasonably bloody when it needs to be. But the hooligans themselves are hateful and they don't die nearly quickly enough, even in a film that's only 77 minutes long including credits. As a disposable teenkill quickie it works efficiently enough while it's on, and it's always fun to see horrible teen idiots being messily killed, but it's not particularly memorable and probably won't lead to a Ranger franchise.


No comments: