From Within (2009)
Watched March 31, 2009 (April Fool's! I watched it on April Fool's Day. Man. That may be a candidate for worst April Fool's Day joke of all time. I'm sorry.)
Suicide after suicide is happening in a small Christian town, and who's to blame? Well, maybe the witches!
This Horrorfest entry isn't that great, but the delightfully grim ending and the crazy Christians who love burning people alive made me enjoy it somewhat.
And so it begins... After Dark Horrorfest 3! I've seen 8 of the past 16 Horrorfest films, and they're basically a mixed bag. We've had the good ("Borderland", "The Gravedancers"), the average ("Reincarnation", "Mulberry St.") and the god-awful (how I despise thee, "Unearthed"). Well, the first one I've watched from 2009 fits in with the other average entries.
"From Within" is actually pretty entertaining, due to the consistent number of suicide scenes, which range from people drinking drain cleaner to people shooting themselves. It's not like the kills were that memorable or anything, but there's so many of them that there's barely a 15-minute period without you getting to see someone else bite the dust. The kills lose some of their effect due to annoying direction and sound effects, however. I just don't understand why directors feel the need to change camera angles every half a second, because it's annoying as hell. Kills are more gruesome and interesting when you actually get to SEE the kill instead of some random flashing and camera movement.
But the film doesn't just depend on the kills to deliver a good horror, no, they focus on story. But, the story is pretty predictable and stupid, which is unfortunate, as the plot line is pretty interesting. The characters are compete caricatures. We've got the good girl, we've got the misunderstood emo kid, we've even got the good girl's boyfriend who turns out to be a big douche. Not only that, they felt the need to make the "good girl" have the obligatory "bad home life", which includes the constantly drunk mother and the nonexistent father. It's just ridiculous how many cliche characters there are in this one movie. Ridiculous.
The only interesting characters are all the Christians. I think it's pretty funny how badly Christians are portrayed in this. They are all crazy nutcases who talk like they came right out of the Bible ("Thy pain is thy salvation" who the hell says that?) and basically cause all of the conflict in the entire movie.
They are also responsible for every death in the freaking movie. The suicides are all explained to be a curse started by one of the brothers that are supposedly witches (they are actually witches). The reason the curse was started was because all the Christians killed the guy's mother. And then, when the other brother tries to stop the curse, the Christians just kill him and so the curse lives on to kill everyone in the town. It's just awesome. SIDE NOTE: I find it interesting that the entire movie, the one person blamed for all the suicides is actually the person that is responsible for all of them. Usually, when it's a mystery of who is causing all the deaths, the filmmakers choose someone that ISN'T the main suspect. Strange.
The ending to the movie is also deliciously downbeat and grim. I won't give it away (well I guess I kind of did in that spoiler paragraph above), but it definitely made me like the film just a little bit more.
In the end, "From Within" really isn't anything that special, but then again, it's not bad either. At the very least, it's better than "Unearthed". God damn, I hated "Unearthed". Overall, this one is a good start to the 3rd Horrorfest, and I hope the rest of this year's entries are at least as good as this one. They probably won't be, but at least this one's pretty good. I give "From Within":
3 out of 5 chainsaws (ALRIGHT)