Thursday, August 17, 2017

Horror Film Review

The Demented (2013):  Zombie flick!  Let me qualify that by adding it's a zombie flick that wears out its welcome in the first ten minutes and then sticks around for another maddening 82.  Don't be fooled by the groovy movie poster with the boast that it was made by a co-producer of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street.  This film isn't even in the same solar system as the Wes Craven classic.

Three couples gather at a friend's mansion on the outskirts of Baton Rouge, Louisiana for some last minute partying before heading back to college.  There's David and Taylor (Richard Kohnke and Kayla Ewell), Brice and Naomi (Ashlee Brian and Brittney Barlow), and Howard and Sharley (Michael Welch and Sarah Butler).  In the interest of full disclosure, the only character I found not to be annoying as hell was Brice.   In the midst of their revelry, which apparently consists only of drunk Slip 'n Slide, they learn of an imminent biological missile attack.  They see and hear the impact in the distance and then...nothing.  They just sit around and snipe at each other.  Oh, how annoying they are!  It's like suffering through the world's most boring soap opera. Naomi cheated on Brice with Howard and then Sharley found out so she's all pissy and spiteful, which doesn't bode well for Naomi when the zombies break in and Sharley reaches the safety of a room one step ahead of her.  Eventually the survivors escape the mansion and find their way into town where they learn a rescue helicopter will be picking up folks at noon from the roof of one of the college buildings.  A few of them actually make it there, too.  This sets up would could very well be the worst ending of a movie....ever.

The pacing of this film is akin to a tranquilized sloth.  The editing must have been done by someone with ADD or someone who was stoned out of his mind because this movie should have been at least 15 minutes shorter.  Scenes would linger for no reason, serving no purpose.  I felt like I was stuck behind somebody on the road going under the speed limit, making me want to scream, "For fuck's sake move your ass!"  Many more deficiencies plague this movie and I shall elaborate on them now.

The Skinny

Acting:  Not terrible, but Lord, it wasn't good.  Kohnke and Ewell as David and Taylor are the most irritating.  Ewell has a bad habit of screaming for no damn reason at all and Kohnke's overacting becomes cringe-inducing.
Story:  Could have been fleshed out a lot more, like maybe into a coherent plot that doesn't have more holes than a brick of Swiss cheese.
Direction:  Pick an axiom.  Simplify!  Less is more.  Go big or go home.  Don't make a movie unless you know what the hell you're doing.  (OK...I made that last one up.)
Production Values:  While it was filmed on location in Louisiana, you'd never know it because no scenes that would showcase that state's beauty or uniqueness were filmed.  It's a shame.  The mansion shots are all right but the scenes in town looked like they were filmed in cheap Hollywood back lot.
Gore/FX:  There's a bit of blood but precious little gore.  A balls out, over the top gorefest would have made it much more watchable.  The zombie make-up was adequate.  The CGI was silly.
Scares:  They tried.  They failed.
Ending:  Manipulative and idiotic.  A dream?  Really?
Verdict:  Should you see The Demented?  Good God, no.  Go clean the litter boxes or grout the bathroom tile or something.  Anything short of waterboarding by terrorists or a kick in the nuts would be more enjoyable than watching this movie.

Rating:  1 out of 5

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