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Inbred (2011)



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InbredStarring Jo Hartley, Seamus O’Neill, James Doherty, James Burrows

Directed by Alex Chandon

The League of Gentlemen meets Small Town Folk by way of Bad Taste in Alex Chandon’s distinctly British horror-comedy Inbred. Four young offenders and their pair of idealistic social workers arrive to spend a weekend in the rural Yorkshire village of Mortlake aiming to engage in a community rehabilitation and team-building exercise. Briefly checking into their decrepit cottage accommodation, they clean the place up a little before heading down the pub (“The Dirty Hole”) to take in the local ambience. There they meet the village publican and Patriarch of sorts, Jim (O’Neill), who offers them a distinctly off-kilter small town welcome and introduction to the stereotypically backward, animal-bothering folk of Mortlake.

When an encounter with some rather more aggressive locals sees youth worker Jeff (Doherty) accidentally pierce his femoral artery, the seemingly good intentions of Jim and his merry band of folk take a swift turn for the gore-soaked murderous, leaving the remaining teens and worker Kate (Hartley) trapped in a fight for their lives.

The title itself should prove enough of a clue that director Chandon isn’t aiming for anything serious with Inbred, but the massive mean streak to be found here may catch some off guard. Gallows humour abounds, as do jokes regarding cross-dressing, sex with animals, mental and physical disability and disfigurement and many, many more subjects that will quite easily offend the more sensitive viewer. None of it is obviously meant to be taken in any way seriously, but those on British shores who feel themselves consistently at the butt of these types of jokes owing to the very real attitudes of the English cultural North/South divide (remember – it’s grim up North, apparently!) may just find it one joke too many.

Inbred’s biggest problem is its choice of protagonists. The young offenders presented here are almost uniformly hateful little bastards that you just can’t wait to see offed at the nearest opportunity. Though played to perfection by Doherty and Hartley, social workers Jeff and Kate are no better – smug, naive types that receive next to no chance to redeem themselves by taking off the kid gloves before they’re brutally removed from the picture. So, with the storyline essentially pitting one group of unlikeable idiots against another group of unlikeable idiots (even if Seamus O’Neill does effectively steal the show as the gleefully homicidal black-face wearing Jim), Inbred boils down to its most basic element: A gory body count flick.

On that side of things, it delivers. Big time. Once the killing starts, you’re never too far away from the next twisted death scene as the citizens of Mortlake get together for their favourite type of Cabaret show, complete with protective goggles and designated splash zone, featuring the murder of outsiders as their favourite main attraction. Inbred is gory as hell, and once the remaining teens start fighting back it becomes a literal bloodbath of severed limbs, blown off heads, crushed bodies and all kinds of splashy goodness. Presented with a fitting mix of CG and prosthetic work, the gore effects are well realised if goofy and obvious at times.

The mean streak of this film really ought to be stressed again. The whole affair is presented in extremely poor taste (decide for yourself whether that’s something you’ll appreciate) but its treatment of its characters is nigh-on sadistic. On multiple occasions, help, escape and triumph seems almost in reach, only to be snatched away with the swing of a cleaver, the blast of a shotgun, or the interruption of a ferret. Yes, you read that correctly: a ferret. The presence of one of these creatures should be enough to tell you where Chandon’s coming from in his representation of the people of Mortlake. Hell, it’s quite surprising that a whippet was nowhere to be seen.

Do not go into Inbred looking for a genuinely horrific, or even particularly thrilling or tense, piece of work – you won’t find that here. What you will find, though, is an amusing (if you’re an appreciator of dark/broad humour), deliciously gory, occasionally shocking and decidedly vicious little film. Sure, in a nutshell it’s pretty derivative backwoods stuff and the lack of anybody to truly root for is a serious flaw, but it manages to generate enough of its own energy and strangely unique attitude to be worthwhile. It most certainly will not please everyone, but for an undemanding body count flick Inbred is a decent waste of 90 minutes.

3 out of 5

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Inside (Remake) Review – Is It as Brutal as the Original?



Starring Rachel Nichols Laura Harring

Directed by Miguel Ángel Vivas

While the directing duo of the cringe-inducing and original 2007 French grand guignol thriller Inside have gone on to refurbishments of their own—Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo recently helmed a retread of Leatherface’s origin story—their flick now has an American stamp on it with the release of the remake, also titled Inside.

A cheerless Christmas eve sets the stage for heavily-pregnant widow Sarah’s (Rachel Nichols) oncoming ordeal. It’s a frigid and snowy night. She’s got a huge house to herself, following the accidental and violent death of her husband. She wants to sell the home that was meant to hold a family, to forget the nascent memories it once held. But she’s got to ride it out until the baby is born. While Sarah is lonesome, she won’t be alone. She’s got her genial gay neighbor nearby, and her mum is going to come and stay with her for a few days. Oh, and there will be an unexpected visitor too.

When a shadowy, seemingly stranded stranger (Laura Harring) knocks on the door pleading to be let inside, Sarah instinctively balks. She even calls the cops. But the woman leaves and all seems well. Crisis averted. Sarah puts the housekeys in the mailbox outside for Mom, and goes to bed. Big mistake.

Mystery Lady shows up at Sarah’s bedside armed with chloroform, an IV bag, and a case full of sharp-and-pointies (sorry, ’07 fans… those implements do not include a pair of scissors). The horror unfolds and the expected yet lively game of gory cat-and-mouse ensues. Then the tete-a-tete becomes a body-count chiller featuring one shocking moment after another.

Nichols is fantastic in the role, giving it her all. When the original Inside came out eleven years ago, she was starring in another French-helmed horror, P2—also set on Christmas eve—and she stole the show. She does the same here but with a less-intense adversary. Harring’s killer character, unlike her European counterpart, has a lot to say—which takes away from her initially mysterious manner as the minutes tick off. Still, the girl-on-girl action is a welcome change from the usual gender dynamic one sees in these things. Both deserve kudos for their performances.

While Inside isn’t a died-in-the-wool “Hollywood” remake (Miguel Ángel Vivas directs, while [REC] co-creator Jaume Balagueró wrote it) it feels like one. For those who’ve seen the original, there will be mild disappointment (which turns to major letdown at the very end). However, Inside is still a serviceable thriller that’s well-acted, beautifully shot, and effectively scored. Folks coming in fresh, and casual horror fans, will more than likely enjoy it.

  • Inside (Remake)


Inside is a serviceable thriller that’s well-acted, beautifully shot, and effectively scored. Folks coming in fresh, and casual horror fans, will more than likely enjoy it. For those who’ve seen the original, there will be mild disappointment (which turns to major letdown at the very end).

User Rating 1.67 (3 votes)
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What If Tina Fey Wrote Jennifer’s Body? My Friend’s Exorcism Book Review



“Rummaging in one of his duffel bags, [the exorcist] pulled out and athletic cup and slid it down the front of his pants. ‘First place they go for,’ he explained. He then adjusted himself and picked up a well-worn Bible. ‘Let’s do the Lord’s work.'”

It was about a year ago now (it seems) that I first saw the cover of “My Best Friend’s Exorcism.” If you haven’t seen it for yourself in all of its glory, make sure to click the image over to the right for a more in-depth look. Awesome, right? Got to love all the VHS details such as the “Horror” and “Be Kind Rewind” stickers. Classic. Utter classic.

Now I’m fully aware that one should not judge a book by its cover. Literally. But still the moment I saw this work of delicious art crop up in the inbox I had to read the book asap. Well, it turns out asap was about a year later, but all the same, I’ve now had a peek at the inside of the book as well as the outside. Does the content inside match the content outside?

Let’s find out…

For those who might not know, “My Best Friend’s Exorcism” (henceforth referred to as MBFE) tells the tale of two best friends named Abby and Grethen. One night the two, and a few of there other friends, drop a bit of acid for the first time. While the drug never kicks in (no worries, there’s no lame twist-ending to be had here) poor Gretchen still wanders off into the woods and gets possessed like a motherf*cker in some creepy abandoned building. From there, things go from bad to worse until an unlikely exorcist is called in and things go off the wicked walls in all the best ways possible.

Now, to review. First of all, let it be know that MBFE is more of a teen romance (between two friends) than a straight tale of terror. Think of it as “What if Tina Fey wrote Jennifer’s Body?” and that will give you a good hint at what the book holds in store for you. Not that that’s a bad thing. Still, you should be aware that the first 2/3 of the book is almost exclusively teenagers not getting along, bitch about losing touch, who is sleeping with who, and yada, yada, yada for pages on end. Dramarama for days. Mostly.

That said, not only is the teen drama bearable (and truthfully quite sweet in spots), Hendrix keeps the horror in the spotlight just enough that I never lost faith the book was heading somewhere truly balls to the wall. And it does. Oh, boy does it. From the time the unholy shite hits the fan in the last third, to the time the last word is read, the book is filled with horror moments that will make even the most jaded fright-fiction fan gag, grimace, or stand up and cheer!

You just have to get through all the angst first…

But speaking of angst, let me get a bit of extremely personal business out of the way real quick. Can I trust you with this info? Sure I can. MBFE made is cry like a baby. Not kidding. There have been very few times in my life that I have literally burst out crying. I’ve had some sad shite happen in my days, and I have seen some sad-ass movies, but nothing has made me cry out of the f*cking blue like MBFE. I’m not going to go into details about the final 10 pages of the book, but it tore my poor horror-heart a new one. It was bad. Like snot and hyperventilating type shite. Again, not kidding. Thank the lord I wasn’t in public is all I can say. I would have arrested and thrown in the booby-hatch.

MBFE goes along like a slightly horror-centric version of Mean Girls and Heathers for most of its page count. If you’re a straight horror fan, you’ll be at odds with whether you should bother finishing it or not. You will. Trust me. But listen to me now and know that once our heroine goes into the dark, dank bedroom of the school’s resident bitch to find out why she hasn’t been in school the past few days/weeks, the horror hits like holy hell. And it only gets worse (RE: better) from there.

In the end, MBFE is a book ever horror fan should own – if only for the cover. I dug the hell out of the book (eventually) and I’m sure the majority of you guys will too. But even for those hard-hearts out there that just can’t stand to read about things like uncompromising love, and hellfire-forged friendship, you still need to own the book. You still owe it to yourself to give it a try. If you don’t care for it, that’s cool, just display in on your bookshelf in all it’s VHS glory. It will make you look cool.

  • My Best Friend's Exorcism - Book Review


Grady Hendrix’s “My Best Friend’s Exorcism” is a killer mixture of Mean Girls, Heathers, and The Exorcist. Just think of it as “What if Tina Fey wrote Jennifer’s Body” and you’ll have a good indication of what lies in store for you within the amazing VHS-inspired cover art.

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Knock Knock Review – This Throwback To The VHS Era Packs A Fun Punch



Starring Kerry Tartack, Sisi Berry, Chuk Hell

Directed by Toby Canto

I remember the glory days of my youth back in the early to mid-80’s, renting every friggin horror flick on VHS and keeping the cassettes well past the return dates, eventually blacklisting my name from damn near all of the movie shops in my hometown. For the sole reason of wanting to hop back in the time-machine, I’ll never turn down the opportunity to check out a film that promises to ship you back to the days of all of that cheesy-neon attire and overblown hairdos.

Director Toby Canto was generous enough to offer his latest film up onto the sacrificial stone, and it’s called Knock Knock – about a WAY past his prime pugilist named Sam (Tartack) who is unwillingly thrust into a throwdown with a bloodsucker who happens to reside in the same apartment – damn noisy neighbors! His only birthday wish is to spend his 60th go-round safely hold up in his domicile, away from pesky residents alike. Well, that plan goes to shit when his kooky neighbor (Berry) comes by and pitches the idea of throwing hands with the newest tenant: a real creature of the night (Lucas Ayoub).

Sam initially nixes the idea wholeheartedly, but when more of his quirky neighbors show up to his place to substantiate the vampiric-claims, Sam finds himself lacing up the leather for one more round…or two, depending on if he can still take a beating. Filled with more than a handful of goofy instances, this near-hour presentation won’t blow the doors off of the horror/com vehicle, but should more than suffice in the short-term until the next spooky-laugher comes slithering out of its hole.

  • Film


Historians alike, this movie’s for those who want a reminder of how loopy those VHS days were, and the best part is you don’t have to rewind a freakin’ thing.

User Rating 0 (0 votes)
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