Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Crooked Man

Director - Jesse Holland (YellowBrickRoad, We Go On)
Starring  - Angelique Rivera (American Crime, Supernatural, Cameron Jebo (Power Rangers Megaforce, Killer Coach), and Michael Jai White (Spawn, Black Dynamite)
Release Date - 2016
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "No soul is safe"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     Back in the summer of 2016 the sequel to The Conjuring hot theaters and became another success.  The film offered up several memorable moments but lost traction with me when it introduced the Crooked Man character.  The film lost all validity it had with me when I saw that scene.  I thought that Asylum would eventually give it the mockbuster treatment but I was way off.  The character, which has routes in nursery rhymes, would go on to be the basis for a film from director Jess Holland and starring Michael Jai White.  I received this film not long ago to review but I was on the fence about watching it.  Wish I would have skipped it.
     The film begins with a group of 12 year old girls having a slumber party when they decide to try something they saw on the internet.  The say the Crooked Man rhyme and he appears killing one of the girls while another holds a knife to protect herself.  She goes away for murder and appears 6 years later with the whole town shunning her but when the murders start up again she is forced to reconcile with her old friends to save their lives.
     I went into The Crooked Man with an open mind.  I grew up with Spawn and Black Dynamite got me through college.  White has taken some pretty fun roles over the years so I had some hope that this one would give him another fun and unique role.  Sadly, it didn't and he was very underutilized.  He character was very flat, generic, and easily forgettable.  Sadly, the entire cast delivers mediocre performances with very little attempt at creating a character other than a stereotypical day time soap.  The story for this one is one we have seen so many times especially after the release of The Candy Man.  There is several movies following urban legends and creepy pastas where someone does what they were told to do to bring about a benevolent spirit that kills people.  films like Urban Legend, Bloody Mary, and most recently Smiley all use this story.  Frankly, these films do it much better than this one.  Finally, The film has several kills but CGI ruins every single one.  The kills fit the whole Crooked Man theme and could have been fun but the CGI and cheesiness of the film completely ruins any enjoyment.  Overall, The Crooked Man is a huge waste of time.  The cast is just in it for a paycheck and the story lacks originality.  Skip it.

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