I dare say that not only is “Never Hike Alone” one of the best fan films ever made, but it’s easily the best “Friday the 13th” fan film ever made. A mixture of “127 Hours” and “Friday the 13th,” director and writer Vincente DiSanti provides a riveting small scale sequel to “Friday the 13th” where he offers up a brand new twist to the conventional tale featuring Jason Voorhees. It’s a shame we might never get an actual sequel to the series because with a small bit of polish, and twenty extra minutes of extrapolation on our main character, “Never Hike Alone” could pass in theaters as the sequel to the series that we’ve always wanted. I’d say it surely is the sequel that I’ve always wanted, as it focuses less on cannon fodder and T&A and spends a lot more time on build up and suspense.
I like where Brendan Beachman seems intent on taking us in the realm of horror, as “Two Birds” is an indication of a rich cinematic talent who has potential to spin some very creepy horror tales down the road. Director Brendan Beachman creates a spooky and unnerving short film filled ambiguity and an enigmatic villain, and though we never quite understand what’s happening, that doesn’t make the tale less scary.
Jessica Loren is new on the job; her first shift is the last shift of a closing, empty station. As her shift rolls on, odd things start happening and she can’t tell if they are real, imagined, or just a prank.
The story of Joss Whedon’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is about as classic a tale and about as old a tale as most other movies in development. Whedon had a vision for a new take on a horror story and Hollywood didn’t get it and kind of fucked it up. Everyone by now knows the tale of 1992’s “Buffy,” and how Joss Whedon initially wanted to make something of a darker more stern take on the vampire hunter that minced a coming of age tale with a story of a young woman coming to maturity. When Whedon was given the chance to finally bring his film in to development he kind of lost control of his creation.
I kind of appreciate what “The Sand” is going for. It tries to be a summer time survival movie that evokes “The Raft” from “Creepshow II” with a bit of “The Blob” for good measure. The problem is that it spends so much time on unlikable characters and ridiculous plot points that it feels like a sub-par prequel to a good movie. The film literally ends on a scene that made me think “That is the movie I want to see!” Set on the night after a graduation, a group of friends go out on to the beach for a night of drinking, and teenage antics. Little do they know that a small gooey ball they’ve discovered is some kind of substance that is alive, and has embedded itself in the sand.
In this anthology of the subversive, four tales are told with bloody realism. A woman is cut open while naked to remove something from her body, a man obsessed with his sister helps her give birth with dire consequences, a group rolls around outside in mud and blood, a man masturbates until the end and a group of women worship a man in a very particular way.
A starting band with members from the US and the UK moves to Los Angeles to make it big. Living in their van, they work hard to get their start on the Sunset Strip. After a chance encounter with a mysterious man, things start to fall into place, but there is a price to pay.