New Releases for Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Directed by: Barry Jay
Run time: 94 minutes
The Lowdown: The latest inductee into the “bad seed” subgenre of crazed, murderous children is Killer Therapy.
Brian (played by both Jonathan Tysor and Michael Qeliqi) doesn’t take kindly when his parents adopt a little girl who becomes his insta-sister. He acts out so much that his folks decide to try a revolving door of therapists, including his first shrink, an older male doctor, who molests Brian repeatedly.
It isn’t long before Brian is pushing classmates out of trees, biting his adopted sister and winds up hospitalized for six years.
Yes, you’ve seen all of this before.
The one reason for fans to even contemplate wasting an hour-and-a-half is the roster of genre icons who wander through Killer Therapy with cameo performances that make you sit up briefly to pay attention.
There’s Thom Matthews (Return of the Living Dead) as Brian’s father. Adrienne King (Friday the 13th) as a therapist. P.J. Soles (Halloween) as another therapist. And even Daeg Faerch (Rob Zombie’s Halloween) as a bullying classmate.
The Stuff You Care About: Hot chicks – Yes.
Nudity – No. Gore – Yes.
Drug use – No.
Bad Guys/Killers – Be careful about the advice you give.
Buy/Rent – Rent it.
5-Movie Collection: Stephen King
Outlander: Season Five
Now on Video-on-Demand:
Fear PHarm (Indican Pictures, 79 minutes, Unrated, Video-on-Demand): As October gets closer, it’s expected that more and more horror films will debut that touch upon iconic Halloween tropes.
And what could be more iconic than a cornfield maze populated with rabid killers?
Fear PHarm starts off well enough with a naked, buxom blonde, a gaggle of crazies and a killer ballerina who delivers a wicked machete chop to the face.
From there, director Dante Yore’s debut leaps 15 years to present day, and immediately falls apart.
Nothing makes sense.
It starts with a guy sexting his girlfriend, begging her to wear her cheerleader outfit for their Hallow’s Eve adventure. Faster than you can say al-a-ka-zam, the girlfriend crawls out from beneath the guy’s bed wearing her cheerleader outfit.
That’s right, Fear PHarm doesn’t make mention of the fact that this guy’s girlfriend was apparently just hiding in his room, under his bed, maybe for hours, who knows, waiting for him to text her, about an outfit she somehow already knew to have on.
Then cheerleader girl hops on the guy to take a one-way trip to cock-town when the guy’s mom throws open his bedroom door.
Um…this is awkward.
And then his friends all invade his bedroom too. With news of a haunted cornfield maze less than an hour away. What’s the worst that could happen?
Meanwhile, back at said cornfield maze, there’s a bizarre pep rally taking place where a charismatic leader tries to rally a gathering of inbreds, rednecks and masked mutants.
Fear PHarm whipsaws in tone about as often as it lurches forward toward the inevitable plot contrivances that movies about haunted corn mazes all seem to share. When the movie doesn’t know what to do, it just cuts to scene after scene of characters wandering through the maze.
Besides being bone-headed, Fear PHarm is boring. Children of the Corn, this ain’t.
There is no great and terrible surprise lurking behind the rows, which is why we recommend avoiding at all costs.
Murder in the Woods (Rezinate Entertainment/YEL Productions, 90 minutes, R, Video-on-Demand): This Latin-centric retro-slasher, which appears to have been completed since 2017, opens with a solid sequence mining the genre’s heyday from the 1980’s.
And then it promptly falls apart, hitting every possible pothole – from bad jokes and tired developments to wholly telegraphed twists.
Look, I admire anyone trying to pay homage to the slasher genre, but to be a great slasher movie, you have to adhere to a few basic rules. You establish early on who the big bad is, or if you want to maintain the killer’s identity as a secret and stoke debate, you at least place a few red herrings along the way to fuel speculation.
Murder in the Woods just jumps in without telling viewers anything that they might need to know to, at the vest least, have some understanding of where the characters are and why that location is important.
Guilt (AEC/Distribution Solutions and GVN Releasing, 102 minutes, Unrated, Video-on-Demand): An action movie with a message? Guilt purports to focus on a child psychologist turned vigilante who simply can’t abide by child abuse and abusers anymore.
If you check it out, let us know your thoughts. We weren’t able to find time for a viewing.