Ryan M. Andrews is currently enjoying the success of his undead-attacking flick, Sick. It is probably the best zombie film of 2013; I mean, it is a quarter of the way through October and I haven’t seen a zombie film that energized me as much as Sick. The release of Sick has been followed up with a slasher flick, Black Eve, which was actually filmed two years prior. So the question is – does Andrews have the ability to dominate the slasher genre too, or should he stick to flesh eaters? Read my review of Black Eve to find out!
Black Eve is obviously written and directed by Ryan M. Andrews along with Neil Green and it was produced under Blackguardism Creations, Fusion Films Entertainment, and Factory Film Studio. Cast members include Eva James, Neil Green, Veronika London, Kassandra Santos (The Unleashed), Thet Win, Emily Schooley (“Clutch”), Timothy Paul McCarthy, and Scott Vancea.
“A closed down department store is the setting for a wild Halloween party for a group of friends. The following morning, a woman, dressed in a jewel thief costume , wakes up in one of the many hidden away rooms and discovers that all of the other party guests have been murdered. Having psychic abilities, she uses her gift to retrace the final steps of the murdered guest. As Chris travels from room to room she discovers more and more dead bodies and as she uses her gift to see what happened, she sees one of the party guests, a large man, viciously killing everyone else. As the body count mounts, Chris is slowly able to piece together the events of the Halloween party, leading to everyone’s demise.”
Black Eve was styled after classic 80s slasher films. And you know what? The movie pulls off the stylization very well. It had the gritty, indie feel of some of the best cult classics and I felt like Linnea Quigly could pop out at any moment. Many movies have tried to capture the heart of “The Golden Age of Horror,” but few have really mastered it. I’d say that Black Eve is the best attempt at an 80s homage since The House of The Devil.
The gore in Black Eve is standard for most slasher films made in the 80s. Basically nothing too crazy, but still enough to deliver what the audience is looking for. A couple times I was like, “Keep going!” to see how far the special FX would go because the majority of the characters the public will not connect with. You know what that means? A film where you are anticipating bloody, brutal deaths instead of hoping for a good survival story. Fortunately for Black Eve, that’s what horror viewers are looking for lately.
The most interesting aspect of the movie, for me, was the killer. The killer is a male, but we know this right off the bat because he parades around without a mask. You can see the emotions and thoughts in his head. He speaks. You can hear the hate in his words. This is the first time in a long time where the killer was so unmasked, so vulnerable yet he still remained bad ass and scary. As seen with Sick too, Ryan M. Andrews is able to think of original concepts or revisit ones that have been beaten to death already. In this case, he created a realistic killer without the use of costumes and mystique.
My only problem with Black Eve is some of the writing and structure of the film. Pretty much there are three pieces – the killings (the distant past), the psychic survive (the recent past), and a child survivor (the present). However, I could be completely wrong here with my observations… Anyway, the three pieces of the puzzle didn’t always flow together cohesively and if I didn’t know the plot of the movie going into it, I may have ended up confused. In other words, pay attentention while watching, folks!
You know, I wouldn’t say Black Eve is a sure-fire hit. After viewing Sick, I think it’s going to be the film Andrews is most recognized for for a long time. Does this mean Black Eve was a lack-luster slasher? Of course not! Even horror greats like Wes Craven have made great flicks that didn’t achieve the same success as previous efforts. Luckily, Black Eve is a really enjoyable a slasher flick that is perfect for any Halloween season viewing. I’d rate it a… 7 out of 10. It was missing some aspects of a hit, but was still a solid, fun flick.