The film I reviewed today is a film that actually came from someone coming to us via Twitter. Social Media has become a helping hand in getting our name out there and we are truly grateful for the attention we have been getting lately and continue to get from it. But it was James Cullen Bressack who messaged us and talked to us about reviewing one of his films and in doing so we are glad we did because he is a talent that should be seen by any if not every horror movie fan out there. The film I watched was Pernicious and this is what I present to you.
Pernicious is a shot in the veins to the horror movie genre that's not forgotten but often not really looked at because of the Americanized versions of them that came out afterwards. Pernicious follows in the footsteps of films like Ju-On and Ringu bringing forth that Asian horror element that has made those films famous. I will admit at first when I started to watch the movie and saw that this was going in the direction of Ju-on I almost gave up because in my eyes the remake of that film had killed anything from a foreign country that dealt with evil spirits doing evil stuff. But I kept watching and will admit I ate my words until the end. I didn't like the ending but these things are hit and miss with endings for horror movies. Will there be a sequel? What happens next? Did that just really happen? All the same questions are asked but they have to wait to be answered by the man himself James Cullen Bressack.
The synopsis of the film is...It was supposed to be an adventure of a lifetime as three young girls spend the summer in Thailand. But their adventure quickly becomes a nightmare when the trio unleashes the spirit of a murdered child with only one thing on her mind - revenge.
Now like I said before when I watched this film and saw that it was going down the road that was taken by American rip-offs of Asian horror films than I nearly ended the film quickly but I gave the film the chance it deserved and finished it. I found the movie to be very entertaining for a low budget film and was pleased with it despite the ending which to me could've been done a little better. I dunno if I am looking for that happy go lucky ending where good always wins or I wish something else was done for that evil would have triumphed a little better. I don't know but my feelings are still slightly disappointed with the ending. Now don't get me wrong the rest of the film is spot on and excellent. As it is a gore filled and suspense thrill ride that's not filled with naked women running around like chickens with their heads cut off. This film is the right amount of both just to keep you entertained long enough for you to make your own judgment on the ending. Yeah I know it seems I really hate that part of the movie.
Now the film does venture off and away from its Asian horror elements and into the realm of torture porn of sorts ala Hostel of sorts. Yes there is a dream like scene where the girls all have vivid dreams of blood soaked torture of a group of guys they pick up at the local club. Now some of the stuff in these scenes is commonly seen in other films like eye gouging and slicing. But I applaud Bressack because the man knew that pulling finger nails and toe nails can be very nerve wracking. Trust me even when the knife taps the teeth you know that feeling because your brain makes you slightly feel that shit. I don't care what you say when you see it on the screen your already holding your mouth when you know that's going to happen. Its that thrill of knowing the pain is going to be something you wish you never feel that makes this film good. If you don't believe me then sit down and watch this film and you come back to me and talk to me about that spine chilling feeling you had when she taps that knife on his two front teeth.
So how can I close this out without going on and on about that ending? (Laughing) I want to talk about the three main leads of the film and the fact that two of them are practically recognizable to me. Yes I know this sounds bad but you can easily notice Emily O'Brien of The Young and the Restless, yes I know my soap operas. When you come from a family where your mother watches them you tend to watch one of them or know of them. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh..... Also we had Ciara Hanna of Power Rangers? Wait how did she manage to break away from that show and do a horror movie like this? That's a question I will have to ask the director when I talk to him again. But the thing I loved about the three of them is that no matter the scene they showed that they were truly scared of what was going on and you can tell that they weren't trying to oversell the scene by faking their way through it. SO major props to them on that. I hate when I can easily see that the scene is being dictated by a slow pace of the actor not taking the scene seriously and not being scared.
So in the end of it all I will say that this horror movie isn't for everyone. I know there is a small group of people out there that hate Asian horror films and then another that hate that torture porn/horror movie elements. I have no clue why I have to call it torture porn because it makes no sense but that's what its categorized as. But this movie is enjoyable and entertaining for those who love that stuff, I know this because I liked it and not....Won't go there in the end. But this movie is set to debut in June on VOD and a small theatrical run as well. So do yourself a favor and find this movie when its available and watch it. It doesn't disappoint.
reviewed by Bucky