Saturday, October 10, 2015

Dismembering Christmas

Director - Austin Bosley (Survival of the Dumbest)
Starring - Leah Wiseman (Dollface), Nina Kova (The New Hire), and Baker Chase Powell (Hi-8)
Release Date - 2015
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Deck the halls...with lots of bodies"
Format - Streaming (Online Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     Lately you may have noticed that I was in a bit of a rut reviewing vampire and zombie flicks.  This was a good change of pace after reviewing slasher after slasher.  I love slashers, don't get me wrong, but there is surprisingly more to horror than that.  After reviewing Agoni and You Are Not Alone, I wanted to return to my favorite horror sub-genre.  It was at this time that Slasher Studios, the folks behind Teddy and Don't Go to the Reunion, announced that their newest film was available for review.  I enjoyed everything Slasher Studios has released so far so I reached out to them and they were kind enough to send a link to the online screener my way.  Thanks guys for allowing me to check this one out!
     The films follows a group of teens that venture out into the woods to stay in a cabin that belongs to the step-father of one of the teens.  They plan on having a holiday getaway filled with booze, presents, and sex.  However, before they can even get settled in several locals, an older woman and a young man, warn them that if they stay they will die Crazy Ralph style.  They refuse to listen and spend the night drinking it up.  During the night someone leaves the door open and a young couple venture out to see why when they spot someone kneeling in the snow crying.  They check on the person only to be butchered.  The following morning, the remainder of the group assume they left early to visit a wedding nearby and continue on their marry way.  Things turn bloody for the teens when someone with an ax to grind starts killing them one by one revealing their motives.
     Modern slashers try like hell to capture that look and feel of the golden age of slashers.  The slashers of the late 70s and early 80s were hits among horror fans mixing blood, boobs, clever kills with a who done it story line until moving to the slashers of the late 80s where the killer was revealed at the beginning of the film.  Slasher Studios' Don't Go to the Reunion was a great who done it that embodied a lot of the traditional stereotypes of the slashers from the early 80s.  When they announced that they were working on a Christmas themed slasher I prayed that they would go the Don't Open Till Christmas route over the Silent Night, Deadly Night route and lucky for us, they did.  The acting in this one is a bit of an improvement over DGttR but still leaves some room for improvement.  The entire cast does a solid job in their roles.  They all act naturally around one another and for the most part they feel genuine.  Sadly, they have a hard time conveying emotions other than screaming.  They really needed more experience and this brought some of the kills scenes down drastically.  With that being said, how hot is Leah Wiseman?  The answer is - very hot!  The story for this one is nothing we haven't seen before but it is nice to see a slasher tackle the holiday who done it when it is so easy for an indie flick to pop out another zombie movie.  The film does toss a few red herrings our way but they are very ineffective and actually take away from the film's overall story.  Just leaving out those would have helped the film flow a little better.  The film is also a bit confusing at the end with the reveal of the killer and I still feel as if I missed something.  This could have been done a little better but it does not take that much away from the overall film.  Finally, this one is full of on screen kills that pay homage to several slashers from yesteryear.  We get a traditional stabbing, disembowelment, decapitation, and even a giant drill.  The kills are very fun and very bloody but the practical effects are not where I expected them to be.  They are solid but do reflect the film's budget.  Overall, Dismember Christmas is essential for the holiday season.  The film is a modern slasher film with an 80s feel.  Fans of slashers and fun kills will want to see this one.  Check it out.

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