Friday, April 11, 2008

Nightmare Man

Round 2 of the After Dark Horrorfest is finally starting to shape up nicely, as this is the strongest film I’ve yet seen from them. After seeing several movies struggling just to handle one idea, it’s a little nice to see a film that’s willing to throw in a schizophrenic heroine, a mad slasher, erotic truth or dare, and some good old fashioned demon rape for spice.

The film follows a young woman (Blythe Metz, who looks astonishingly similar to Charisma Carpenter) that suffers from constant recurring dreams about being raped by a horned demon, and whose Spanish husband is driving her to an isolated asylum to help cure her when their car (naturally) runs out of gas on a deserted road, and he (naturally) leaves her in the car alone while he goes off to get some gas. Left alone, she is attacked by the figure from her dreams, and manages to fight him off in the woods long enough to escape to an isolated house occupied by two couples that are trying to have a relaxing weekend of sex games. In their efforts to help her out, they all become targeted by the killer too, and have to deal both with it and with her madness. A fun weekend all around, I’d say.

One thing that was nice about the film was that it was a bit lighter in tone than the other films I’ve seen. It was written and directed by Rolfe Kanefsky, who also did the enjoyable There’s Nothing Out There, something I might have had trouble realizing had he not had one character wearing a shirt with that film’s title emblazoned on it, and had another character yell out that sentence at a different point. That was a better movie than Nightmare Man, and even had a character escape the clutches of a monster by swinging from the boom mic to safety, but this certainly ain’t bad by any means. It’s definitely not as light as that one was, what with the screaming hysterics and demonic violations and all, but it does have a guy get shot in the mouth with an arrow, only to exhale a smoke ring around it as he dies.

I won’t spoil the ending, but it does take a rather dark and perverse turn, and while I don’t think it ruins the movie like some do, you should be aware that it rather abruptly gets a good deal nastier and meaner right before the film ends. I was fine with it as, well, I’m pretty desensitized by this point, but you may want to be a tad careful if you choose to view this. Still the best of the five After Dark Horrorfest films I’ve seen. Now I’ve just got Borderland, the Deaths of Ian Stone, and Mulberry Street to go. Easy enough, right?

Rating: ** ½


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