Director – Henrique Couto (Awkward Thanksgiving, A Bulldog for Christmas)
Starring – Erin R. Ryan (Easter Casket, Watch This!), JoAnna Lloyd (I Found You, Before the Dark), and Iabou Windimere (Haunted House on Sorority Row, Stuffed Evil)
Release Date – 2014
Rating – 4/5
Tagline(s) – “Amos Satan has four horrifying tales to tell” “A new frequency in terror” and “Gives a new meaning to dead air”
Director Henrique Couto and I have a rocky relationship. When I was first started writing for Horror Society I came across his page and asked for news and films to review. He sent me overBleeding Through and I was not a fan. It was just not my kind of horror flick. Since then I have come to really respect him as a filmmaker with his films Haunted House on Sorority Rowand Babysitter Massacre.
Last year Couto announced he would be working on a new film titled Scarewaves. I love a good horror pun in the title and with the style his newer films were going made me pretty fucking pumped to check it out. A few days ago Alternative Cinema sent me the film to review and I received it totally by surprise. Thanks Alternative Cinema!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows late night radio host Amos Satan as he celebrates his last night on the air by telling four stories. The first story follows a beautiful young girl (Erin R. Ryan) who moves into an apartment. Her roommate is an artist and is a bit strange. He had a young girl over one day and the next he refuses to talk about her. She then notices these strange drawing all over the house before discovering his girlfriend’s phone after he said they broke up. This sets off a red flag but it is too late. He grabs her and ties her up. He starts painting her while spilling the beans about how he made a deal with a beast to provide it with beautiful girls. She is able to untie herself and the tied turns in her favor.
The second story follows two cousins that rob an armored car. They take the haul back to their house where the wife of one of the men is waiting. She is verbally abusive to her husband and try to make a pass at his cousin so they can take his cut and run. He shoots her down and informs him that she is not loyal. Her husband returns with a baseball bat and kills her. The two dump her body in the river. Sadly, the other cousin gets shot by accident and dies. Not wanting to live without his cousin and wife. he attempts to kill himself but changes his mind at the last moment only to have a ghoulish finger pull the trigger.
The third story follows a security guard on his first night on the job. He starts to see things out the corner of his eye and hear sounds. At first he thinks the other guards are fucking with him but he soon learns that his past has come back to haunt him.
The fourth and final story follows a young woman who is the other woman in a man’s life. The man has not been able to leave his clingy girlfriend for her and the two set in motion a plan to kill her with a hammer. The man is unable to do it which is pissing of his other woman. She’s at home by herself cursing him for not killing her when she starts to see visions of the woman dead. She keeps popping up when she least expects it resulting in her falling and cracking her skull.
We then go back to Amos and learn that he lost the radio station due to unpaid bills. A debt collector shows up with a gun to collect but Amos is not just a mere mortal.**Spoiler Alert**
I love when an anthology has a good wrap around story to tie them all together. I don’t know how many anthology flicks I am sent to review and they are just short segments tossed together with nothing to connect them. That immediately turns me off when I see an anthology like that. The best part of an anthology is the wrap around story. That is why Tales from the Crypt,Creepshow, and The Offspring are so enjoyable. Henrique knew this and crafted a film that immediately joins the rankings as one of the best anthology films I have seen.
The acting in this one is spot on and one of the best I have seen these three years of reviewing indie films. This is exciting for me because I have reviewed dozens of films starring Erin R. Ryan and Haley Madison and I have seen them all grow on screen. Both females have amazing talent and with each film they take the experience from the last project to make themselves better actresses.
We also have a brief appearance from Ohio based actress Christy Faulkner and the same can be said for her. I have reviewed every horror project she has been apart of and she has grown so much as an actress over the last few years. The film also has a solid, but short, performance from an actor I have only recently discovered but he has really impressed me. That actor is Josh Miller and I recommend everyone keep an eye out for him.
Last, but not least, the film’s best performance belongs to John Bradley Hambrick who portrays Amos Satan. Hambrick plays a cocky radio host who spits out dialogue flawlessly and creates a personality on screen all his own. This is a character I would love to see make another appearance in a film, possibly another anthology. Amos Satan is another horror host in the making and fans will be cheated if we don’t get another flick featuring him.
The stories for this one are fun but some are not that original. I don’t think originality was what Henrique was going for. Instead, he way paying tribute to anthologies of yesteryear that have slowly faded from memory. All four tales, and the wrap around story, all have that twist that puts the viewer in mind of Tales from the Crypt where asshole usually gets what they deserve.
Finally, the film does not have that many on screen kills and the ones we do get are lack luster. With that being said. the film makes up for the lack of gory kills with fun stories and great practical effects. Not all horror films have to be bloodbaths. Overall, Scarewaves is an absolute blast. This is one film I truly enjoy and can not praise enough. If you love good indie horror films, films with a great story and amazing cast, then you need to own Scarewaves!