Directors: Roberto De Feo, Paolo Strippoli
Stars: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Francesco Russo, Peppino Mazzotta
RATING: 2.5 Stars
Five carpoolers travel in a motorhome to reach a common destination. Night falls, and to avoid a dead animal carcass, they crash into a tree. When they come to their senses, they find themselves in the middle of nowhere. The road they were traveling on has disappeared and there is only a dense, impenetrable forest and a wooden house in the middle of a clearing, which they discover is the home of a spine-chilling cult. – From IMDB
For the first half of this film I was really thinking that this was going to be something I could get behind. I love horror movies set in sunny, idyllic locales, I love movies about cults, it was ticking all the right boxes. And just when I thought we were going to get a really shocking ending, the third act twist comes out of nowhere and crushed all my burning enthusiasm in one fell swoop.
Everything from the set up to the location to the creepy atmosphere was right on point for me. Had they carried that on right until the end, I might have loved this film. There is some obvious ripping off of other horror films, namely things like Midsommar and Wicker Man. But I can’t tell if, taking the ending into account, these rip offs were intentional, or if they were just visuals the filmmaker liked from other films. I am inclined to think the former, as it’s fits with the discussions around the reveal but maybe I am giving the film too much credit?
There are some good, bloody kills in this, but nothing you haven’t seen before. In fact, because this film seems to rip off so many other films, there is nothing here that you haven’t seen before. Right up until that final twist it is a very run of the mill horror movie about a creepy cult. And again while that twist turns it into something other than the norm, that doesn’t make it a good or necessary twist.
The characters are all pretty basic and we learn next to nothing about any of them. We have idea that Elise has a very controlling mother and that her home life is not a happy one, the same actually for a lot of the characters, but that’s really all we know. It’s hard to feel sympathy for these characters, or care what happens to them when we know nothing at all about them.
With a different ending this could have been great, but it lets itself down. ‘A Classic Horror Story’ is streaming on Netflix now!