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Review: Cross Bearer

Cross Bearer… The PG rated, religiously based horror film that is a great addition to any family friendly movie night. Just fuckin’ with you! Cross Bearer is a kick ass horror film filled with bloody brutality, lots of nudity, and a new killer that reminds me of the golden age of horror.

Cross Bearer follows Heather, a stripper who is generally unhappy with almost every aspect of her life. When her boss sends her on a big drug deal, she decides to form a plot of her own to free herself from the life she despises. Little does she know, a religious maniac wearing a sack over his face – and wielding a hammer – has intercepted the drug deal as well. And he is ready to cleanse the building of all its filth.

Cross Bearer is written and directed by Adam Ahlbrandt under Adversary Films and Backseat Conceptions. It stars Isaac Williams (I Clean Up Your Grave), Natalie Jean (The Cemetary, Black Swan), Victoria DePaul (The Mind), Tim Cronin (Play Dead), Julia Campbell, J.D. Brown (Wicked Lake), Kacie Marie (The Velvet Elvis), Shaun Paul Costello (Down The Road, “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”), Dawn Vaughn, and Kelsey Lehman.

I have to admit, all this time I’ve been promoting Cross Bearer, I was on the fence. Indie films come a dime a dozen at this point, and the quality of films are usually all over the place. I’ve become very skeptical about praising films until I’ve actually seen them, although I do add them to my “highly anticipated” list. I can say with great honesty that Cross Bearer did not disappoint. It is one of the better indie horror films making the rounds this fall season, and it actually delivers on the promises it makes AKA the gore and craziness that you see in trailers. There is no pretending here – Cross Bearer is a certified thrill ride, which takes you into the darkest corners of the Phili indie film market.

The film is all you could ask for in a great horror film and more. It has more boobs and good-looking women than most lonely 14-year-old boys can handle. And not only that, but the women are all great actresses and play extremely likable characters. I wasn’t expecting to find characters that I enjoyed with a film filled with coke addicted, rowdy strippers. There is a lot of gore in Cross Bearer too, obviously, since the killer wields a hammer as his weapon of choice. Some of the special FX are a little underwhelming and cheap looking, but for the most part they are pulled off well. The swats to the head and temples with the hammer are the most cringe worthy, not because they’re bad, but because they are so brutal and disturbing.

What I enjoyed the most about Cross Bearer is that it genuinely reminded me of old school horror films from the 70s and 80s while also looking like a better Rob Zombie movie. The killer wears a sack over his head with the eyes cut out, and that quickly makes me think of Jason Vorhees. To this very day, I still think simpler is better – think Friday The 13th, think Halloween. I don’t know if it was intentional, or just my interpretation of the flick, but Cross Bearer came off to me as a really cool homage to old school horror films. Mysterious, simplistic, and suspenseful. Being that it also reminds me of a grungy, dirty version of a classic horror film – I have to say, director Adam Ahlbrandt could easily knock Rob Zombie out of the market if he could acquire bigger budgets.

Cross Bearer has its fair share of mistakes and editing mishaps, but overall it is a great movie that is perfect for this Halloween season. It is currently making the rounds at film festivals and the Cross Bearer team is hosting screenings in the Tri-State area. I encourage all horror fans and anyone who reads this review to go check it out. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)