Seamstress, The (2009) - Dread Central
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Seamstress, The (2009)



The SeamstressReviewed by The Foywonder

Starring Kailin See, James Kirk, Lara Gilchrist, Andee Frizzell, Lance Henriksen

Directed by Jesse James Miller

This is going to be a difficult to review to write. It won’t be a long review. That part isn’t a problem since the movie was only 75 minutes (but feels much longer). The reason this is going to be a difficult review to write is because The Seamstress was the first of five movies I viewed in a 48-hour period (four of which I’ll be writing reviews of), and I’ll be damned if I can barely remember much of anything about it.

The only thing I remember vividly is the opening text. If you thought the opening text at the outset of Halloween 2 explaining the psychological meanings of envisioning a white horse was laughable, then just wait until you see the dictionary definition of the word “revenge” spelled out for us at the outset of The Seamstress. Now that left me in stitches. No offense to the filmmakers, but I think we all know what revenge is.

Allie (Kailin See, Decoys 2: The Second Seduction) is a young woman returning to the small rural community in which she was raised determined to find out the truth about her missing and presumed dead father. We know she’s adamant about finding out the truth because she’s prone to yelling at people when questioning them. This will later be replaced with an abundant amount of loud weeping.

What happened to Allie’s dad will have ties to a local tale from decades past, that of an innocent woman brutally murdered by an angry lynch mob back from the grave as a murderous ghost. If you have ever seen Darkness Falls or Dead Silence, then you know what to expect from this revenge-minded murderess.

You may have noticed Lance Henriksen’s name in the credits. He has a fairly small part as the sheriff. His role has more to do with using his name to help market the movie than it does contributing to the actual plot.

We all know that every good movie slasher needs a hook. Not literally, mind you, except for the I Know What You Did Last Summer killer, in which case – yes, literally. I mean the slasher needs a gimmick: the theme of their physical appearance, a decorative mask of some sort, a particular murder weapon, a specific way in which they kill you, etc. The Seamstress is no different. Being a seamstress means it makes perfect sense when she leaves behind mangled bodies with their eyes and mouth sewn shut.

Movie slashers also seem to prefer isolated woodland areas, even supernatural seamstresses bearing a grudge. Allie gets some friends together and they head off to the small nearby island the Seamstress is said to haunt. Everyone pairs up for some camping and nookie until it finally comes time for the hideous Seamstress to thread the needle and begin killing them off-camera, leaving behind their gory stitched-up corpses.

There were many things I was quite unsure of watching The Seamstress. Characters in the film appeared a bit confused at times as well. There was much talk about rules getting changed, rules I was never fully clear on in the first place.

The only thing I was absolutely, 100% positive of was how bored I was. Even the score sounded bored with the movie it was accompanying. This is a shame because The Seamstress is a great looking low budget horror film, and the actual idea behind the Seamstress character could have been sewn into a more intriguing tapestry. Unfortunately, this was a 75-minute movie where very little happened until the film is already halfway over and what did happen wasn’t worth the wait.

Here’s your bad critical pun for the day: The Seamstress is more yawn than yarn.

1 out of 5

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Review – A Haunting Mixture of Psychological Turmoil and Brutal Supernatural Horror



Starring Brittany Anne Woodford, Jenny Curtis, Kanin Guntzelman, Brendan McGowan, Jake White

Directed by James S. Brown

We all like to think of ourselves as being surrounded by friends, but let’s face it, if we were to ever truly hit hard times, there are probably very few, if any, people we could truly rely on. So on some level, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film we can all relate too, as it deals with this very issue.

Stephanie is an emotionally unstable young woman who strangles her boyfriend to death after he insults and breaks up with her. She calls her friends to help her dispose the body out in the Joshua Tree National Part area, and instead of reporting her to the police, they reluctantly comply. As their car breaks down, the four friends find themselves alone at night in the Californian wilderness with the rotting corpse in need of disposal. Given their dire circumstances, they begin to become more and more aggressive towards each other, and this was where the film was really at its best. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how far the limits of their friendship could be stretched, and who would be the first to crack and turn on the others.

Anyway, their body disposal endeavor soon proves to be a mistake, as Stephanie’s ex rises from the grave as vengeful zombie demon thing with claws as long as knives. I’ll admit, I first I thought Friends Don’t Let Friends was going to be a movie purely about the limits of trust, so I was pretty surprised when the supernatural elements came into play. And when they did, the trust and friendship elements of the plot were somewhat downplayed in favor of a more traditional horror approach, and while it was still entertaining, I still would have preferred for the film not to have strayed from its initial path. At least the ending came as a shocker. I won’t go into spoilers, but let’s just say the even the most attentive viewers probably won’t see it coming.

As you can probably guess from a psychologically-driven film of this kind, the performances were top notch, with Brittany Anne Woodford being on particularly top form as the manipulative and unstable Stephanie, a character who revels in the revels in the power she felt when ending another human life.

With its mixture of psychological turmoil and brutal supernatural horror, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film I would certainly recommend, but keep in mind that it may make you think twice when confiding in people who you think of as being your friends.

8 out of 10.

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Coulrophobia Review – One of the Most Entertaining Killer Clown Films in Quite Some Time



Starring Pete Bennett, Warren Speed, Daniella D’Ville, Roxy Bordeaux

Directed by Warren Speed

The word ‘Coulrophobia’ refers to the fear of clowns, and if you happen to suffer from it, you might want to avoid director Warren Speed’s film of the same name. However, if you can stand the sight of clowns with gaping wounds in their manly parts, then you’re in for one heck of a fun time.

An all-female hockey team get lost deep in the Scottish woods on their way to a match (don’t ask), and are captured and forced to participate in a series of horrific games by the Grock family of clowns. All of the members of said family are absolutely fucking insane, but the one that really stood out was Twitch (Pete Bennett), who wears jester cloths and it said to have a short attention span. He longs to be a violin player and wishes he could blend in with normal society like the other members of his family. And you almost feel sorry for him, even though he’s a mad killer with bells on his head.

Director Warren Speed also appeared as Milo, a grunting mute who had his tongue cut out when he was a boy. As mentioned above, we see a close-up shot of a open wound in his penis being stitched up, which is not an image that will be leaving your mind anytime soon. Speed is clearly fearless when it comes to his art.

Inter-spliced with all the torture and mayhem, we also see documentary-style telling the sad history of the family involved, and this was where the film unfortunately faltered, because these scenes seemed out of place and just didn’t flow with the rest of the plot.

Ultimately, however, Coulrophobia almost seems like a film Rob Zombie might have made before he lost his way and started churning out trash like 31. Comparisons to House of 1000 Corpses are inevitable, and I absolutely mean that as a compliment. This is one of the most entertaining killer clown films in quite some time.

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User Rating 2.94 (17 votes)
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The Gatehouse Review – What Is Found in the Woods Should Be Left in the Woods



Starring Scarlett Rayner, Simeon Willis, Linal Haft

Directed by Martin Gooch

Now while no one will sneeze at the prospect of bringing up a bit of a rebellious child alone, it’s those damned kids that like to tempt fate by pissing off creatures in the woods…oh kids, they do the funniest things, don’t they?

In Martin Gooch’s moderately spooky presentation, The Gatehouse, a struggling writer named Jack (Willis) finds himself behind the 8-ball following the tragic drowning death of his beloved wife, and if that isn’t enough to torque your drawers, his young daughter, Eternity (Rayner) is becoming quite the salty soul herself. Unfortunately the little one has been finding herself bullied at school, and her recourse of sorts is to simply toss attitude around as if it was pleasantly acceptable. Her pastime has become lonely wanderings in the deep woods, digging for hopeful treasures…and we all know what problems reside in the woods, don’t we, horror fans? Well, Eternity’s father is attempting to re-start his writing career with a frightening backstory – taking the reigns on a novel that was abruptly ended when the author committed suicide, and supposedly the tome is quite the dark piece of literature.

Eternity’s never-ending quest for fortune and glory in the forest leads her to a most interesting (and ultimately) dangerous discovery (don’t sweat it – I won’t spill it for you). Bottom line here is this: the little girl has taken possession of something that should have been left in the friggin’ woods, and now someone (or something) wants it back PRONTO. What follows is a lackluster series of “spooky” events, and far be it from me to say, I’ve seen creepier stuff watching the evening news. Gooch then tries to bombard the audience with a plethora of instances and swerving plot direction – it’s fun at the beginning but can grow a bit tiresome over a duration.

Performance-wise, both Rayner and Willis play the perfect combination of mentally-shot dad and determined-to-be-independent daughter – their scenes are ripe with subtle contempt, and the right amount of indecision. Overall, the film is best suited for those fans of fantasy/fable-like horror, and while it might not scare the pants off of you, it definitely will give us all another reason to stay the hell out of the woods once and for all.

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Children in a forest-setting don’t always add up to cutesy-pie encounters with furry creatures – this one’s got a few scares to keep fans of coppice-horror appeased.

User Rating 3.56 (18 votes)
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