Sunday, October 6, 2013

Horrorthonpalooza 2013: As Night Falls

Horrorthonpalooza! is on a roll with Horror Comedy. Tonight’s movie is from actor/writer/director Joe Davison. Just like The Hills Have Eyes and Texas Chainsaw Massacre could be considered family movies one could also consider As Night Falls a family movie.
As Night Falls was released in 2011 with the DVD expected on November 12th. It was written and directed by Joe Davison whose work includes Experiment 7 (2009) and Frost Bite (2012). If you go looking for information about this movie disregard the IMDB ratings. For reasons completely unknown to me it has been graded a bit lower than it deserves.

The plot is simple enough: a family moves onto land haunted by a pair of evil ghosts, Seymour and Nelly Trine. We know they are bad news because the opener shows them tracking their daughter, Amelia, and murdering her with an axe. Seymour and Nelly have a habit of returning every once in a while and murdering everyone on their land.

The movie has low budget issues that are easily overlooked. The two complaints that I do have both concern casting.

Complaint number one: Debbie Rochon. As Night Falls does not take advantage of Debbie Rochon’s talents. She plays the Ghost Mother/Vampire Lady, Nelly Trine. Her role required constant mugging for the camera and running forward in a menacing manner. I must admit she did turn some of the wacky faces into amusing moments. Davison’s use of Rochon might have been restricted by her schedule so I will just say that I wish she had been given a stronger role.

Complaint number two: Too many characters. I assume all of them had names. I know the massacre required a party but maybe it could have been an intimate party of four or five? By limiting the number of characters Joe Davison could have concentrated the comedic elements as well as the gore aspects for the kills.

The stars of the movie are Deneen Melody as Elizabeth, Dwight Cenac as Otto, and Lily Cardone as Holly. Director Davison is Charlie. Elizabeth is a feisty DIY chick, Holly is her little sister, Charlie their older brother, and Otto is her rocker boyfriend. Once the badness goes down this group displays some serious family unit ass kicking tactics. It was touching. They are determined to tag team until the bad guys are down for the count.

Deneen Melody is particularly effective in this movie. She is given the best opportunities to show her skills both acting and fighting. Give this girl a leather jacket and a ninja sword and you've got a zombie demon killing machine. I hope we see more of her in the future.

Would I recommend As Night Falls? Yes. It was entertaining. Just when you think things are getting “typical bad horror film stupid” the comedic aspects become apparent. As Night Falls is a horror movie made by fans of horror movies. It aspires to meet all the requirements of this particular genre: action, comedy, and horror.

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