KINDERGARTEN COP 2
(US - 2016)
(US - 2016)
If general weirdness is your thing, then you might get more out of SOUTHBOUND than I did. We're eventually shown the source of the hovering creatures from the first segment who also periodically appear in other segments, but that still doesn't mean their eventually-explained presence makes any sense. Because the filmmakers have the stories flow together in a not very smooth fashion, they tend to end in abrupt and confusing ways. Nothing makes sense in "The Way Out," and by the time you get to the big reveal of "The Way In," you'll still have more questions than answers. "The Accident" and "Jailbreak" have some committed performances by Zickel and Yow respectively, and both go above and beyond the gore quota. The standout story is easily "Siren," which is the only one to make concerted efforts to develop its characters and establish a legitimately unsettling vibe. It almost feels like a tribute to those really unnerving occult movies of the '70s and has a real MESSIAH OF EVIL thing going on. Elsewhere, there's synth cues and John Carpenter homages all over the place, which was affectionate fun for a while but has become so prevalent and obligatory in today's horror movies that it's really time for the genre's current standard-bearers to find a new crutch. Also, I'm sure they're nice people and it's nothing personal, but when Larry Fessenden and Maria Olsen--an unusual-looking actress who's found an indie horror niche as essentially the female Michael Berryman--turn up in the opening credits, I'm already annoyed. I don't know--I'm pretty much a curmudgeon when it comes to most new horror offerings these days, especially these fawned-over indies where the film's most vocal supporters are all Facebook friends of the directors. The accessibility of fans to the artists has undoubtedly clouded the judgment of critics and bloggers when an unwatchable piece of shit like V/H/S: VIRAL gets good reviews. SOUTHBOUND isn't bad for this new breed of horror in the social media age, but there's still very little about it that's noteworthy. (R, 89 mins)
(US - 2015)
"Call it, Friendo" coin-flip in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN) is tended to by his estranged son Jerry (Peter Cilella) and 18-year-old granddaughter Shelby (Jennifer Lawrence lookalike Hassie Harrison, also seen in SOUTHBOUND), neither of whom he's seen for many years. The recovery goes slow when moody George has difficulty focusing and periodically forgets who Shelby is ("This bitch broke into my house!"), so Jerry and Shelby decide to hire a temporary live-in caregiver to assist him until he's well again. The caregiver is Michelle (Kristina Klebe), who says her specialty is post-stroke therapy and insists Jerry and Shelby check into a hotel in order for her to focus on George's recovery, but it doesn't take long before George gets a bad vibe from her. When he begins showing signs of improvement, she pumps him full of unnecessary medication that makes him worse, then starts playing tricks on him, which escalates to Michelle beheading George's beloved cat and covering him with its blood while he's sedated to convince him he did it. George insists he's a victim of elder abuse, but a preoccupied Jerry doesn't buy it, choosing to go back home to his job while a summer vacationing Shelby decides to stay behind at the hotel and keep visiting with her grandfather, an idea constantly thwarted by an increasingly irrational Michelle.
***UPDATE*** (June 16, 2016)
Regarding DEMENTIA's sound issues, star Kristina Klebe recently posted an update in the comments section of the film's IMDb page.
"The sound design was a major oversight and has recently been fixed. It will hopefully be up on all platforms by end of this week. I would encourage everyone to watch the end again at least so you can feel you saw and understood the whole film. You, as an audience, deserve that."