Saturday, October 31, 2015

Rites of Spring

Happy Halloween everyone! I figured I better get at least one more horror movie review in before we turn the calendar to November. While I didn't get as many new movies reviewed this month as I had wanted to, partly due to some movies I watched were just so horrible they didn't deserve reviewing (looking at you Hayride 2). However enjoy this last movie review before I get back to a stack of new toys just waiting for their spotlight.

Finding a good slasher movie these days can be hard. It seems the horror movie trend has moved past the iconic 80's slasher flicks like Friday the 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Now all you find are demon possession and supernatural horror. Blah. Thankfully I took a chance on Rites of Spring while browsing through the not so impressive horror line up recently on Netflix.

This movie is from 2011 by producer Padraig Reynolds (also credited for writing this movie). The description of the movie is rather simple.

A ransom scheme turns into a nightmare for a group of kidnappers who become victims of a horrifying secret that must be paid every spring.

Looking at the original movie poster and reading that description one should be able to put two and two together and realize this movie has something to do w/ sacrifice. The farmhouse and stalks of corn is a dead giveaway that this ain't taking place in a big city.

For starters let me just say this movie's story is a mess. It's all over the place. I feel like the producer/writer takes way too long to fill in the holes of the story. None the less I'll try to break it all down.

The movie has two main story lines at the beginning that don't see related at all. It opens up w/ two girls at the local watering hole. Upon leaving their car has a original. Before they know it some guy knocks them off w/ chloroform I'm guessing on a rag and throws them in the back of his van.

The story then switches to two guys discussing their plans to kidnap some little girl. You hear the plans, but there is no real motive behind what they are doing. The story follows up the plan complete with the kidnappers taking refuge in a abandoned school while they wait for the ransom money to arrive.

By the time all of this unravels you are already 40-45 minutes into the movie. Still not knowing how these two stories relate to each other, one of the women that is kidnapped at the beginning of the movie finally frees herself and finds that she is being chased by the movie's nemesis, something called Wormface. You see very little of the assailant, which is a bad thing as it appears the special effects used on this guy are pretty good. He carries some sort of bladed farming tool. Not quite a scythe or a sickle, but it appears to be something that could be found on an old farm. The woman running for her life eventually finds the school and meets up w/ the kidnappers in the middle of an argument. Finally the two individually stories collide...but why?

The acting, while not great, isn't horrible. The special effects seem to be of a lower budget, but instead of having a campy looking death scene many of them cut away via Alfred Hitchcock style. Outside of the story having some holes and taking way too long the flesh out, my biggest gripe is not seeing more of Wormface on screen. Who is the real star to most slasher movies? It's Jason, Michael Myers or Leatherface. Wormface just feels forced and not used properly.

Overall I'd give this movie two and half stars. Unlike some horror flicks I found on Netflix this Halloween that left me feeling like I just wasted and hour or so of my time, Rites of Spring was still enjoyable. It's broken and could have benefited from maybe 15-30 more minutes to round out the story, but by no means is it unwatchable,

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