Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Michael Downey, Michelle Roe, Connor Thorp, Ila Schactler
Directed by Scott Phillips
Distributed by Monterey Media
You know what can be really scary? Having too much time on your hands. Especially for college kids who live in small towns. Small towns can make you feel as if you're being strangled into becoming just another one of the herd. To avoid that happening, sometimes people resort to doing or trying really desperate and at times disturbing things. In Scott Phillips' new film Meadowoods said disturbing things are taken to a really terrifying level.
Three friends who are longing to make something of themselves and leave their marks on society have decided that it's better to live in infamy than to never really live at all. Their master plan is simple -- pick someone completely at random, capture them, kill them, make history. Having someone mark you for death just because they chose to is a pretty unnerving notion and one that unfortunately happens all too often. Meadowoods explores this type of terror inside and out and offers us a chilling and voyeuristic view into the mindset of three absolutely murderous sociopaths.
The flick comes very close to shining a mirror on the everyday horrors and evils that lie usually dormant within ourselves. There's just one problem ... the acting on the part of our evil trio can be a little on the rough side. In fact there are times throughout the movie when our killers are nothing short of annoying. With a little help in the editing room to weed out the few scenes that play out just a little too long. we could have had a real winner here. Lose about ten minutes of exposition, and this flick would be tight as hell.
On the other hand ... one actress whom I'm positive we will be seeing more of is Ila Schactler, who plays our victim. Never mind the fact that she has a scream that's to die for in the horror genre, this chick knows how to do her thing. You will feel her fear. You will face her terror along with her. The third act of Meadowoods is dark, unsettling, and all too real. We're talking totally intense. Thanks to Schactler's performance the audience will be not only riveted but also fighting for air along with her. These kind of chills are well worth the price of admission alone.
Unfortunately the DVD special features do not fare as well as the film's climax. All we get is a three-minute long alternate ending. The good thing is that said alternate ending is pretty damned chilling in its own right, and honestly I'm hard pressed to say which one I prefer. It's a tough call for sure, but come on, guys, that's it? No making-of? Not even a commentary track? I'm all for realism and keeping a film's mystique intact, but this is a bit of a missed opportunity here.
If you can make it through the somewhat tedious first two acts of the film, and we're pretty sure you will because of how deliciously macabre the subject matter is, Meadowoods delivers a solid, claustrophobic, and horrific third act that's not to be missed. Good stuff!
3 1/2 out of 5
1 out of 5