The Horrors of Tribeca - Part 2: Preservation, An Honest Liar, Extraterrestrial, The Body, and One Please - Dread Central
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The Horrors of Tribeca – Part 2: Preservation, An Honest Liar, Extraterrestrial, The Body, and One Please

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The Horrors of Tribeca - Part 2: Preservation, An Honest Liar, Extraterrestrial, The Body, and One PleaseAnd Tribeca Film Festival 2014 is a wrap! While we put together our interview footage and write up some full reviews, let’s dive back into our mini reviews so you’ll know what movies to watch for as they nab distribution.

Preservation – directed by Christopher Denham (USA)
A disgruntled vet, his work-obsessed brother and his somewhat timid wife trek into an off limits nature preserve to live off the land, hunt with their dog… and fight for their lives!! And that’s pretty much the whole plot.

The film takes a great deal of time at the front end setting up every little thing that unfolds in the back end but fails to flesh out likable characters you’ll not want to see killed or present villains that elicit any emotion from the viewer whatsoever. Offering nothing new to a sub-genre that has plenty of titles to choose from, Preservation should be left out to rot.

1 out of 5
An Honest Liar – directed by Tyler Measom and Justin Weinstein (USA)
“The Amazing” Randi aspired to be a magician rivaling Harry Houdini himself and accomplished just that before his life took a very different turn. Using his considerable gifts of deception and showmanship to reveal those who would deceive maliciously, James Randi becomes a name that strikes terror into the hearts of faith healers, possessed prophets and just about anyone claiming their “psychic powers” make them special enough to free you from your hard earned cash.

This is Randi’s story, from escape artist to high profile debunker, told with a startling level of honesty toward his own profession and life while covering his highly entertaining exploits. It’s an incredibly sweet tale you won’t soon forget.

4 out of 5
Extraterrestrial – directed by Colin Minihan (Canada)
I’ll admit to going into this film with very low expectations, having strongly disliked Grave Encounters. Extraterrestrial introduced me to a foursome of young, would-be partiers with very little chemistry among them, flanked by superior actors who aren’t given much to do. What held my attention for the duration were some killer alien abduction/space ship/alien creature effects which seemed to perform waaaaaay beyond the film’s ability to support them. You’ve got these pretty fantastic visuals as backdrop to a hackneyed message that “love conquers all,” a theme that is soon after pissed all over by the angry filmmakers, who seem hell-bent on proving why they call themselves “The Vicious Brothers.” In truth, there is very little that is vicious in this film… or scary… or even surprising, but those spaceships sure were pretty!

2 out of 5
The Body (Short) – directed by Paul Davis (UK)
Our favorite tortured Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) from “Game of Thrones” dons the apathetic, poorly socialized, borderline monstrous demeanor of a highly active serial killer who could quite literally get away with murder amid the faux creeps wandering the streets on Halloween night. Though a bit one note (it IS a short so we can forgive this), The Body proves to be packed with charm, dark wit and some rather sudden ultra violence that will leave any horror superfan smiling from ear to ear.

3 1/2 out of 5
One Please (Short) – directed by Jesse Burks (USA)
Freaky… Horrific… Wildly Imaginative. One Please offers a glimpse into an almost overly normal town, seemingly ripped from a Norman Rockwell painting, where a child’s treat is paid for in a most ghastly currency. The stark contrast between the retro feel and bloody happenings is delightfully pleasing and highly palatable for fans of dark fairy tales. Seek this one out!

4 1/2 out of 5
The 13th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival took place from April 16 to April 27, 2014. For more info visit the official Tribeca Film Festival website, “like” the Tribeca Film Festival on Facebook, and follow Tribeca Film Festival (@TribecaFilmFest) on Twitter and join the conversation by using the hashtag #TFF2014.

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

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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

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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

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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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3.0

Summary

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.

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User Rating 3.56 (18 votes)
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