You think it’s simple, don’t you?
I see tons of horror films. I’m in contact with many directors. Each director/producer/actor is proud of their work (for the most part). You can almost see the blood and sweat poured into the film drip from the screen as I watch these in the solitude of my basement. Some of these projects are garbage, and some are outstanding. Most of them are at least worth a look for a scene or two.
I liked Ditch Day Massacre quite a bit. In fact, it’s probably one of the best horror films I’ve seen in a while. The set up is believable. The characters are interestingly cliched. It’s simple and doesn’t over complicate its core storyline. The only thing I couldn’t understand was the obsession with the apples…
Bill Oberst Jr. plays the creepy Vick. As the film opens, we get a montage of a teenage party and Vick training and getting dressed. It’s very similar to Robert De Niro’s opening scene in Cape Fear, and very effective. After dressing, he picks up his ax and is off on a murderous rampage.
It wouldn’t be a good slasher film without a great cast of victims. The beautiful Katy Foley plays Jenny. Jenny is the daughter of a police detective. She’s left alone for a few days, and her boyfriend (Zach Silverman) convinces her to skip school and throw a party. They invite a “core group of friends” which serve as fodder for our ax wielding villain.
First of all, props to the writers for not over thinking this one and just letting it fly. The plot is simple. The execution is simple. It’s set up in a nearly believable fashion (Seriously…that neighbor was insanely slutty though and should have been dead already from some sort of STD.). We have kids in a house with a killer. It’s not fancy, but it works.
The kids are all cliched, but they at least go with it rather than be too serious or too over the top. We have the couple. We get a stoner. We get a goth girl. We get a “nerdy” guy. We get a hot girl, and we get a dumb jock guy. They do what teenagers do, and that is where our broken man finds them and deals with them. Vick is just downright creepy but I have to ask: What’s the deal with the apples?
Again, this movie keeps it simple. The kills are gory and have a hint of deviance. It’s nothing over the top (for the most part…again, that neighbor lady). The skin is good. The kids are fun to root for and against. It’s the perfect formula for a good slasher film. The cinematography is nothing special, but there is this great scene where Vick pours steaming water on himself and the steam just billows off of him. I couldn’t tell if he was heating up or cooling down. Great scene.
Ditch Day Massacre will be making the festival circuit this summer (hopefully we’ll see them at the Eerie Horror Film Festival this October). I guarantee this is a good one to watch in the theater. It has a Scream feel to it, but it stays comfortable in its own skin. Check it out.