Directed by: Michael Thomas Daniel
Run time: 91 minutes
The Lowdown: Get Gone, the feature debut from documentary filmmaker Michael Thomas Daniel, is notable for two things.
The first is more of an observation about Lin Shaye, who is fast becoming the Samuel L. Jackson of independent horror, meaning she will literally star in anything that crosses her desk.
But, the real selling point, the reason to watch Get Gone is to marvel at Nicolas Cage’s son, Western Cage Coppola, who has a prominent role as Patton, one of two hillbilly killers whose family, the Maxwell clan, has been “changed” by fracking in the dense Oregon forest where they live.
Without Coppola’s presence, Get Gone would just be another retro-slasher to focus on a crazed group of hill people who target anyone that dares enter their woods. In this case, that would be internet hoax hunters who descend upon the mountain to try and spy an albino hillbilly (not kidding) that is generating lots of online talk about urban legends.
And, for a while, not even Coppola can save Get Gone from a litany of horror movie clichés, including one-dimensional victims, stale redneck jokes, tired torture gags and the obligatory masked madman.
But if you watch long enough, Get Gone actually starts to work with its oddly effective 1970’s vibe and a twist midway through that shows the true extent of what fracking has done to the DNA of the Maxwell brood. Spoiler alert – they basically can’t die.
For the record, Coppola does a bang-up job channeling his dad instead of just mimicking his more epic movie meltdowns. At times, it’s almost eerie to hear his voice, which is pure Cage drawl, and to watch his increasingly unhinged Cage Rage moments.
Get Gone may not be original, or scary, or particularly well made, but it is entertaining at a base level for fans of this particular subgenre.
If nothing else, watching it made me excited to see what Coppola does next and also hopeful that he will start picking better projects.
The Stuff You Care About:
Hot chicks – Yes.
Nudity – No.
Gore – Yes.
Drug use – No.
Bad Guys/Killers – Mama and her boys.
Buy/Rent – Rent it.
Rust (Wild Eye Releasing, 90 minutes, Unrated, DVD): Rust, a Halloween haunt slasher by writer/director Joe Lujan, started as a short before being padded out to feature-length in 2015.
Five years later, it’s finally getting a wide release, but really, there’s no point in checking out this title despite the impressive killer on the box art cover.
Rust is one of those horror films that just hangs around without doing very much for interminably long stretches.
The cold open, which kicks off with a girl hiding from a long-haired killer, is choppily edited to insert scenes of an amusement park funhouse attraction, only there’s no ambient sound, so the crowd shots look like surveillance footage.
For about five minutes, the movie bounces back and forth from the girl hiding to a bunch of people milling about outside, with no dialogue, no indication of what is happening, no point whatsoever.
The haunt in question is called Hotel Fear, and Lujan focuses on a young man who sneaks into the abandoned attraction during the title credits before jumping 20 years into the future.
In my notes, I wrote, Jesus Christ, hopefully they make better movies 20 years later…
The action resumes with two girls in a car traveling to Hotel Fear because apparently the haunt has now garnered widespread urban legend acclaim, only the sound mixing is so off that you can’t hear what the girls are saying, even after cranking up my TV volume to 20.
And it was about that point, that I hit eject.
My Bloody Valentine: Collector’s Edition (Shout! Factory, 93 minutes, Unrated, Blu-Ray): The director’s cut of George Mihalka’s seminal 1981 slasher film, My Bloody Valentine, is only 3 minutes longer than the theatrical version, but boy howdy, what a difference that 3 minutes makes.
It's like watching the film for the first time.
The kills are bloodier, the added gore is substantial, the camera lingers for long seconds instead of pulling away and the crisp colors and sharp digital enhancements means this is the best version of Mihalka’s classic ever released, and a definite must-own for longtime fans.
Shutter Island: 10th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook