The Redwood Massacre (2014)
Synopsis: For five adventurous friends, visiting the legendary murder site of the Redwood House has all the hallmarks of being an exciting and thrilling camping weekend away. A popular site for revellers and party goers, each year on the exact date of the famous local family massacre, people from around the country head out to the site to have fun and scare each other. Events take a bloody turn for the worse when the innocent campers discover the Redwood legend is in fact a horrible bloody reality, which turns the unsuspecting victims into prey for a mysterious ax wielding maniac that has remained dormant for 20 years.
The time to fear the burlap sack has come again (It's suppose to be a Scarecrow mask but it looks like it was made from a burlap sack). This movie has everything you would from a campy slasher film. Okay so I will admit, it was basically a knockoff of every Friday 13th movie rolled into one with just a hint of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. So as far as originality goes, I can't really give this one to much praise.
Five friends are hiking through the woods to find their way to the Redwood House for a party that apparently takes place there every year on the anniversary of of the Redwood Massacre, which is the day the farmer who lived there went mad and butchered his whole family. They all enter the woods separately with the plan of meeting up at a camp site and than the following morning, the are going to go to the house. Pamela, the main character is hiking with her best friend Jessica. Their friend Mark, who is also Jessica's ex-boyfriend, is with his current girlfriend Kirsty. Pamela's crush Bruce entered the woods on his own. While Mark and Kirsty are walking, they pass a campsite with a man and woman there; presumably doing exactly what they're group of friends are doing. Needless to say, that couple doesn't last to long after Mark and Kirsty move on. Mark and Kirsty move eventually meet up with Pamela and Jessica. Bruce didn't have as much luck as a trap set on the path led to him getting kidnapped by the Evil Maniac (all I had to choose from were 'Evil Maniac' like he is named in the credits, or 'Evil Highlander' like he was named on IMDB).
Pamela goes to higher ground to get cell service and attempts to call Bruce but in doing so, finds his cell phone on the ground. Fearing that something is wrong, they all go and look for him..... for about 5 minutes. Than they comfort themselves by saying he probably already went to the house and they head back to camp. A couple beers in and Kirsty decides to tell the “real story” of the Massacre. At the end of the story, she tells how the farmer took his own life and it happened “somewhere around here.” Kind of redundant beings how the WHOLE POINT of the movie is that they were going to the location of the massacre but maybe that's just me nitpicking. Pamela wakes up in the morning to an empty campsite. She walks around the woods calling for her friends to no avail. When she comes back to the campsite, Kirsty comes walking up. When Pamela asks where Mark and Jessica are, Kirsy has no idea. She said Mark was gone when she got up but she assumed he went to take a leak. She had no idea Jessica was gone too. But now that they are both gone, she immediately jumps to the conclusion that they snuck off rekindle their relationship. They decide to go to the house anyway in hopes of finding Mark and Jessica with the other party goers. While they are hiking, we are taken to a shot of Bruce, Jessica, and Mark chained up in a shed and bloody. A sliding doors glides open and The Evil Maniac walks in, chooses his next victim, carries them out, and slams the sliding door; very much like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre basement entrance door. The Maniac toys with his victim a bit and than brutally stabs them to death. Meanwhile, Kirsty and Pamela make it to the house although they think it's the wrong one because there is no one there for the party. You will get to see some of the other party goers sporadically throughout the remainder of the movie. This leads in to the final battle that will pit Pamela, Kirsty, and any other survivors in a fight for their life. During this fight, we are also introduced to The Hunter, a man who's daughter disappeared at the same party before and now he is hunting for The Evil Maniac; sounds very similar to Rob in Friday 13th: The Final Chapter, doesn't it? We will also get to meet quite possibly the worst horror movie “savior” ever. After the survivor(s) get away from the house, he is flagged down as he is driving through the woods. Somehow, he drives for hours on a path through the woods only to get lost and come to the conclusion that he's been driving in circles.
Now I know through my breakdown I got a bit harsh towards the film. I never said the movie was perfect. There are plenty of holes in the story. Some I pointed out, others you will have to see for yourselves. Just about all of the characters have points where they do just down right stupid things. But that's what is suppose to happen in a slasher film, isn't it? “Some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can't act who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door.” Sorry, couldn't help myself on that one. But anyway, the acting itself wasn't all that bad considering it's a low budget movie with an unknown cast. Let's be honest with ourselves though, how many legit slasher movies have any of us actually sat down and watched because we wanted to see intriguing story line and plot twists? My guess is that the answer is none. When we sit down to watch a straight up slasher movie, it's to see just that; as many people get slashed and brutally butchered as possible. And it is with that mindset that I will say I really enjoyed this movie. The quality of the mayhem was a very good surprise. The special effects and make-up did a really good job. When seeing what the estimated budget of the whole movie was, I'll go so far as to say they did a great job. Such a good job in fact, that they felt the need to add gore in spots where it made no sense. For example, one character gets punched dead center of the face yet she spews blood from her mouth like her insides are being ripped out. But they made it work. So anyone who wants to watch a straight up slasher, this is definitely worth the watch. I enjoyed it and I will definitely watch it again.
reviewed by Bobby