Sep 9, 2009

Masters Of Horror: The Washingtonians Review

image from Amazon

The story follows Mike Franks (Johnathon Schaech from Quarantine and 2008's Prom Night), his wife Pam (Venus Terzo) and his daughter Amy (Julia Tortolano) who have to spend the week in Mike's late grandmother's spooky southern house. Amy accidently breaks a portrait the grandmother had painted and Mike discovers inside a grim shard of paper detailing George Washington's threat to "skin and eat your children, and make utensils from their bones". The majority of the town is already in on this dark secret and are part of a psychotic tributing cult.

For those with an eye for it, you'll find yourself very impressed by the directing in terms of setting. Hitchcock classes must have paid off because there's a lot of usage of red in subtle places. Things like darkness and shadows are also used very well. As for acting, there are really only two people in this movie who are going to get you emotionally involved and believe. The first is the daughter, sweet little ten year old Amy (Julia Tortolano). Her character is consistently afraid, possibly a sufferer from anxiety, but she really garners fear in you as a viewer. The second is a friend of the late grandmother, Samuel Madison (Myron Natwick). This guy captures creepy like no one else. Other than these two, everyone else pretty much screams lame, cheesy, Crypt Keeper kind of TV. Technically, that's what this movie was, as it was made for TV on Showtime, but it was put on its own DVD.

My Highlights:
Anything involving cannibalism. The Cannibal dinner party is especially something to look forward to when you watch this movie. The explanation of Washington's horrifying backstory is also interesting.

Overall Rating:
So long as you go into watching this movie expecting it to be an awfully acted, completely ridiculous horror show episode, you'll get more than your money's worth, especially by the end. There are some strong republican undertones to the film, but I couldn't actually tell if they were pro-or-anti republican. They do make for some good laughs however. And the runtime, a mere hour, certainly gives itself some legs, as I'm not sure it really could have been drawn out too much longer. So for my overall rating, I give this 4*'s.

When You Should See It
You're probably not always in the mood to watch poorly acted, zany and cheesy, ridiculous, horror film, so this isn't really a high priority. It was entertaining, and despite my high rating, it's not going anywhere. It'll be on Netflix Instant Watch where I saw it for likely a very long time.

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