Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Katheryn Winnick, Reid Scott, Shauna Duggins, Keir O'Donnell, Jessica Lucas
Directed by John Simpson
Distributed by New Line Home Video
It seems that slasher films are now hotter than ever. Even better, it's the R rated slashers that are poised to be making bank this year with big budget remakes of My Bloody Valentine and Friday the 13th on the old boiler plate. We've been hearing about this flick, Amusement, for some time now around these parts and everything we heard and saw seemed to be pretty positive. So now that it's out does it shape up, or is it simply just another generic film to be shipped out? The verdict? A little of both.
Three women, now into their early twenties, are being stalked by a psycho whom they paid little attention to as a child. Truth be told, the kid was a little off. They shunned him because he tortured animals and such, but now that he's grown up he's developed a real killer sense of humor. One by one, he captures and torments his childhood love interests, and though that plot seems about as generic as they come, Amusement is handled in a way that is anything but for a slasher movie.
In fact, this slice of cinema plays more like a bit of an anthology film than it does a straight slasher. Each victim hasn't seen each other in years, and each is captured by The Laugh (as he is known) by using various means -- from killer clown to psycho driver. There are parts in this flick that play brilliantly, sort of like in a carnival spookhouse type way, but utimately, once everyone is all together in the same place Amusement stops being amusing and starts following the old paint-by-numbers killer handbook.
There's one thing that really nags at me though. Each kill that we see is enhanced by poorly rendered digital gore. To make matters worse, the body count is minimal so the viewer will find themselves really looking forward and paying attention to the next kill. Being that we're are all so keen-eyed in anticipation, the CGI splatter we get really ends up taking away from what should have been practical, wow-that-looked-like-it-hurt moments. Dare I say it, it's distracting!
However that's the only distraction from the movie you'll find on the DVD, because in terms of supplemental material this package is completely void of anything. There's nothing extra to see here at all. Come on, guys! Really? Not even a trailer?
In the end, Amusement is a stylized little time killer that exceeds in its approach more than it fails. True, the stories themselves are rife with gaps in logic, but you know what? I was never bored and at times found myself having some fun. Check it out if you're in the market for some turn your brain off type entertainment.
3 out of 5
0 out of 5
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