I'm the foulmouthed horror movie critic. I post new reviews every Sunday, so stay tuned =D
So far, I've been pretty disappointed with the majority of Shudder Originals, save Mayhem (2020), which was a fucking hoot. Basically, Shudder is 1-3 here and Mayhem doesn't quite make up for the other three films. However, if you want the 'too long; didn't read' version of this review, it would be "Watch Mayhem instead."
Yeah, this is a pretty good dark fantasy. It's not my favorite read coming out of 2020, but then this is my first for 2021 and had its hooks in pretty deep. Already I'm giving this one my ADHD seal of approval. I found it easier to consume than most of the books I read in 2020 which is an impressive feat, in of itself. Seriously, getting me to throw back 100 pages in a single sitting just never happens. Due to my severe ADHD, it can take me a good week to read a whole book, this one I took down in three days.
I REALLY wanted to like this movie. It's from the same writer/director as He Never Died (2015), which was fucking epic. It even had some really solid plot ideas. I don't know who fucked this up, but they fucked it up BAD. Maybe they needed Jason Krawczyk to direct, or maybe Jason was never a good writer and Henry Rollins really did clean up He Never Died (2015).
I know, it's 2021, and I'm just getting to this movie now, but I've had a lot on my plate that simply kept taking precedent. I mean, I wanted to see this in the theater but I didn't get the chance, and then it kept coming out on streaming services I didn't have. Hey, better late than never, I guess.
SPOILERS!!! YUP! We're starting with the spoilers, and you know what that means... FUCK. THIS. MOVIE... I can tell you that this is going to be triggery for some people, so fair warning now, but long story short, don't watch this sad excuse for xenophilia porn.
Is Historical Urban Fantasy a thing? That's what this comes down to; a Historical Fiction that is also a Dark Fantasy. While it definitely has a hard horror edge, I wouldn't classify it as horror. It's more of an action-adventure which is why I consider it Dark Fantasy. But GOOD LORD the historical accuracy of this Dark Fantasy is engrossing.
On the surface of this movie is a pretty solid story about mental illness, having to live through being raised by someone with mental illness, and discovering you may have inherited that mental illness. I talked about this in my review of They Look Like People (2015). From the inside of the mind of mental illness, the world is already a horror story. There is already plenty of heartache having to watch someone go through that, only to discover you might have inherited it.
I'm impressed by the way this writer duo created vivid scenes using very subtle descriptions. The best way to captivate your audience is to let the reader construct their own experience between what's described and what's not. Getting too bogged down in the details can be a slog. For readers like me, with severe ADHD, too much detail is sure to stymie the imagination and make the read boring. So, when a writer casually works the details in with the flow of the stories and characters, It makes for better immersion and a far more enjoyable read... for me anyway.