Saturday, November 11, 2017

DEAD SHACK (2017) movie review - Cinepocalypse 2017

Dead Shack (2017) d. Ricq, Peter (Canada) (1st viewing)

An amusing diversion that mashes up a few well-worn tropes (cabin in the woods, psycho killer, cannibals, zombies) and assembles an amiable and game cast to play them out. In this case, it’s a single dad (Donavon Stinson) toting his boozy gal pal (Valerie Tian), his bratty teens (Lizzie Boys, Gabriel LaBelle), and their wallflower (Matthew Nelson-Mahood) friend out to the boonies for a little chilltime. Upon reaching their remote cabin location, they discover that their nearest neighbor is a hot cougar number (Lauren Holly) with a penchant for dressing up in skin-tight leather and luring the local frat bros back to her domicile to serve as the family meal.

Writer/director Ricq keeps the pace lively, but his script throws as many wild pitches as it does strikes – one wishes he’d been a little more ruthless in cutting away the hardy-har jokes that fall flat and kept only the ones that really sing and zing. Even so, there is plenty of blood and gore for the hounds, and while the characters are decidedly obnoxious, they aren’t entirely off-putting, a testament to the entire ensemble. (That said, I did find the final moment a little discomfiting in its mean-spiritedness. Could have been handled differently and achieved the same result.)

Overall, an entertaining if derivative slice of indie horror/comedy.


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