Director: Ben Samuels.
Starring: Robert Englund, Diane Cary, Daniel Gadi, Sean Derry. USA. 1h 24m.
Without having seen Robert in a lot of films since 2001 Maniacs (20??) I was pleased to see him doing something new of late, and of course it’s horror but strangely it seems to be a gothic style horror, I would have guessed that this would be to slow and boring for such a lively character? But alas stranger things have happened.
A group of actors gather in a remote town to rehearse a mysterious stage play, but are plunged into a nightmarish world where they take on the personas of their characters, headed up by a notorious movie icon who has fallen from grace, John (Robert Englund) witnesses a murder of a cast member but when he alerts the group, no one believes his. As he struggles to retain his sanity, and deal with the mixed emotions of having to work with his estranged wife, a cat and mouse game ensues between him and the director, Nicolas as the body count rises.
I‘m not going to spare the whip here, the film is just boring, there is a little build up at the beginning, I suppose I was feeling hopeful that it was going to develop into something dark and broody, but there is no release from the shoddy acting and lame repetitive storyline. The only thing that kept my attention for the first half of the movie was Robert Englund, and while his take on a theatrical character is just to act camp, at least it was entertaining.
While waiting for the story to actually get somewhere there is a feast for the eyes, even though it’s obvious, the olde style play with maidens and steeds, is replaced by cute girls and motorbikes, it’s not pleasant enough to entertain and when the plot finally emerges the repetition gets more intense. It does stay true to it’s Gothic themed bones and as with a lot of teen fiction is isn’t violent or bloody, but people do vanish and there are some ‘orrible scenes, but nothing too full on. I spent most of the movie hoping for a Freddy reference and visualised killing the entire cast myself to end the pain. In all fairness director Ben Samuels doesn’t have much experience with feature length movies and fair game to him, but you can’t make a short into a long film, look at the past fuck ups like the Box (2009), you need to add in more details if you’re going to turn an outer limits story into a feature.
L – Films about plays
5B – Robert Englund