Colleen (Claudia Lee) is having a tough time convincing the cops that she is in danger. Someone keeps leaving photographs of dead and mutilated woman for her to find. But what do they want from her? Meanwhile an egomaniacal photographer, played by Kal Penn, is lured into town by these same pictures with his pleasure-seeking entourage in tow.
Apparently this is the last film to be produced by Wes Craven, the sorely missed director responsible for reinventing the slasher film in the 80s and revitalising it in the 90s. That’s quite a cross to bear, but does it live up to the legacy of the father of all your childhood nightmares?
Let’s just say it. Kal’s character, the never-endingly narcissistic Peter Hennings, is a total douche-wad! But he’s an extremely likeable one at that, and he steals the entire fucking show because of it. Unfortunately the fates can only hold one outcome for such a character in the dramatic world, horror most especially. Still, they could’ve given him a send-off worthy of his screen presence. Thankfully he gets all the screen time he deserves, but what he did not deserve was to be bumped off like a hundred other Halloween / Friday the 13th victims. Something similar to Robert Downey Jr’s last moments in Natural Born Killers would’ve been more fitting.
The killers are creepy enough. They lurk around in their doll-faced masks like something out of The Strangers or The Purge. We are shown a little more, but we don’t necessarily learn much of anything from that, so it may have been better just to remain a mystery. They don’t really have much to say for themselves either. The eventual confrontation with Colleen is not even that. It’s certainly a different approach to forego entertaining your audience with the bullshit thoughts and motives of a complete and utter fucking psychopath!
This movie could have been so much more. But when you feel yourself suffering through the cutesiness of Colleen and Chris, Kal’s assistant’s interactions, the kiss of death to the whole damn thing has been applied before you even know it. It just becomes yet another case of watching everyone in the house die one by one. Or in the case of a couple of post-coital, bobble-headed models – side by side.
One thing we all need to accept is that unless the movie is helmed by David Fincher, we’re just not going to get that ever elusive kick-ass horror-thriller that doesn’t fall into the trap of descending into a sub-par slasher showdown, clichés and all. I do give it points for its brutality, though. If you’re gonna disappoint people, disappoint them hard! Luckily this movie, for me, is saved by the skin of its teeth by Kal and carnage!