As a slasher buff, I’m saddened that we’re in a current horror climate where other less deserving slasher films have gotten full fledged franchises while “Behind the Mask” is still just a one time gem. “The Rise of Leslie Vernon” is one of the best slasher films of the aughts that was perfecting the indie slasher sub-genre well before “Hatchet” came along. No slight to Adam Green, but I’d much rather have had three “Behind the Mask” films over four “Hatchet” films any day of the week. “Behind the Mask” is brilliant in not only creating a great slasher villain, but telling a sharp meta-story that dissects the sub-genre as a whole.
What makes David Brent the ultimate creation of Ricky Gervais is that we can all relate to him. We have all at one time in our lives been David Brent. All of us want to be liked, and accepted, and appreciated. We all want friends, and family, and some place to call home. We all have something we want to offer the world, and some kind of unfulfilled desire that we wish we could bring out for everyone to see. Ricky Gervais’ “Life on the Road” is a great sequel to the original BBC “The Office” but thankfully it’s not a movie you have to have seen the show to understand. While there are a ton of mentions of the original series, “Life on the Road” is about Gervais’ anti-hero, the man known as David Brent who has spent most of his life chasing the idea of being liked and accepted, but has no idea how to achieve it.
Justin Channell’s “Winners Tape All” is a very niche mock documentary about a pair of brothers that became low budget horror filmmakers who went on to direct schlock slashers like “Curse of Stabberman” and “Cannibal Swim Club.” It’s a difficult premise to explain, and sadly it’s not a movie that lends itself to a lot of laughs or even an interesting story. Director Channell and stars Zane Crosby and Josh Lively look like they had a great time making “Winners Tape All,” but even at an hour in length, their premise feels stretched pretty thin. It’s an interesting concept for Channell to evoke the video age and explore cheaply made horror movies that were filmed straight to video.
Shot documentary-style, Population Zero follows director Julian T. Pinder as he investigates a triple murder in a national park, a place without population, hence the title, and where some laws apply differently or not at all. Director Julian T. Pinder and co-director Adam Levins build a film about an interesting case as these three murders were never fully investigated or prosecuted.
I am proud to say that ever since Amanda Gusack sent Cinema Crazed her found footage film “In Memorium” back in 2006, we’ve been fans and have tried to spread the word about it to everyone who would listen. Amanda Gusack’s found footage horror film is a brutally eerie and creepy take on the sub-genre. I received an email from Ms. Gusack recently that “In Memorium” can now be rented on Amazon. If you’re a fan of “Paranormal Activity” when it was still a creepy ghost movie with an air of mystery and mystique to it before the sequels bogged it all down, “In Memorium” is right up your alley. It’s a creepy, well directed ghost tale and one I still boast about, and these are five reasons you should give it a shot.
After a considerable slump with “The Last Airbender,” and “After Earth,” Shyamalan gives us yet another humanistic, demented, mystery that is filled with his trademark themes about life and coming of age. In this case, it’s young Becca and Tyler, both of whom are still healing from a broken marriage that saw their father leave them years before we meet them. Cut like a mock documentary, Shyamalan tailors the film to give us more of a personal view in to the dilemma Becca and Tyler find themselves in, and what it ultimately means in their development as adults.
It’s really tough in this day and age to come up with new insight in to the mindset of the cult. Director Ti West manages to accomplish such a feat during the narrative of “The Sacrament” where he not only explores the facade of the utopian cult that many flock to, but the inherent mind set behind the structure of the cult. “Many people come here out of desperation,” explains character Sam, thus it’s apparent why community Eden Parish is able to thrive and live for so long without being disturbed. Even though many of the leaders of these cults are conmen, on occasion they’re also desperate individuals seeking isolation and a like minded civilization they can rule, or destroy in one fell swoop.
Director Jordan Wippell’s short mock documentary is a funny bit of role reversal, where Wippell chronicles the life of an avid movie buff. Instead of this movie fan being for all forms of movie going, he happens to be furiously against the idea of subtitles during a movie. He not only hates subtitles, but hates foreign films altogether. Sam Bowtell is hilarious as the movie geek Edward who owns his own movie store DVD Nation.