Written by Byron C. Miller
There is a serious lack of villain-driven horror films these days. The times of Freddy and Jason have more or less passed as we move into the current trends of Hostel and Saw. Though those two films are fantastic in their own way, there is still a need for some good old baddies that run the picture.
Bryon Miller already has one film under his belt: Night. While it is a low budget affair, it still manages to be an entertaining vampire film. So how does Mr. Miller do in the realm of slasher horror?
Mr. Fright operates as your standard horror film that involves sharp objects and a madman. The lineup of victims follow the cattle call of all teen blood flicks. The script has jocks, Goths, dumb cops, sex, Whites, Blacks, and gays so there are plenty of bodies there to be had. So far, so good.
The main band of protagonists consists, of course, of the outcasts that are picked on by the dim-witted jocks. While this sort of dynamic has been played out many times in the past, one can’t help but love it when the assholes bite the big one.
Mr. Fright is not afraid to kill anyone, and that is nice. He is an unemotional madman with no back story that runs deep enough for us to care for him. He is a throwback to the days of late night horror hosts. There’s no disfiguring accident to drive the man insane, he just went there, bought the ticket, and took the crazy train to stupid teen town.
The setting of small towns works well when you need ignorant police and plenty of free space for the killer to move around in unseen. This script is no different. Don’t worry though, the location isn’t backwoods enough to be hillbilly country.
Enough of that anyway. What we actually want to witness is death and lots of it. Mr. Fright delivers exceptionally well here. Though most of his killings are not creative, they are undoubtedly brutal. Just reading them on paper caused some cringing moments since there’s no call for the camera to pull away. This would naturally not fly as a PG-13 adventure.
There is a mass of character development in the script, which can be a double-edged sword when it comes to a movie meant to draw blood. If the audience can become involved with the cast, then it makes the payoff so much better when someone ends up with a knife inserted ever so beautifully into their flesh.
Though this sort of story isn’t pushing any sort of envelope, it certainly delivers the goods where it’s supposed to. Given the right kind of budget and crew, I have no doubt that Mr. Fright could carve a name for himself in the horror genre.
Note: Mr. Miller was receptive to revising some of the script after the initial submission. People who can accept constructive criticism are hard to find.
3 out of 5