Director – Shawn Burkett (Don’t Fuck in the Woods, Bludgeon)
Starring – Kelci C. Magel (Midsummer Nightmares, Season’s Greetings), Josh Miller (Nothing Good Ever Happens, Applecart), and Marylee Osborne (Primordial, Babysitter Massacre)
Release Date – 2017
Rating – 4/5
Concept Media is one of my favorite indie companies in the game. Founders Shawn Burkett and Ryan Stacy have a very unique sight into the indie film world and their films always stand out because of it. Their films Midsummer Nightmares, Bludgeon, Ladies Night, and Don’t Fuck in the Woods are staples among indie horror fans.
Not long ago director Shawn Burkett announced a new film simply titled Betsy after the success of his last film DFitW. I really like the way Shawn approaches horror films and I knew I would enjoy myself with Betsy. I want to take a moment to thank Shawn for sending this one my way. Fuck you Shawn.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows Betsy (Magel) who was attacked by a strange man on the street. He bites her on the shoulder before making off. After three weeks she is still shaken by her experience and is visiting a support group to overcome her attack but things are not that simple for her. As the full moon approaches she starts to suffer nightmares. Driven to the brink of insanity she finally snaps when the moon is full and the true beast within emerges going on a bloody rampage in a small, sleepy town.**Spoiler Alert**
Horror films has so many ways they can go. They can be series with a rich story that keeps the viewer glues to the television. They can be completely ridiculous and we follow a shit monster or possessed condom as they go on a bloody rampage. Some take a psychological approach while others are dark and ominous like the classic gothic tales almost forgotten. Shawn’s films are always dark in nature but are full of bright characters full of life. Betsy had Shawn’s trademark look and delivered on the classic monster movie feel.
The acting is great in some scenes and awkward in others. The cast is sharp and the film consists of some of the best names in indie horror. Kelci Magel is great in her role. Her character is weak at the beginning of the film but we see her transform into something malicious. She was great and Shawn made the right choice with her.
With that being said, I’m always shocked when I see Josh Miller in a film. I’ve talked to him several times at Cinema Wasteland and he is very approachable and takes control of the conversation which you wouldn’t expect considering he typically portrays the weaker men in films like Nothing Good Ever Happens. He is a very talented actor and one I can see staying in the game for years to come. The supporting cast is great as well but some of the scenes does involve some awkwardly delivered dialogue that just does not feel natural.
The story for this one is a bit of a slow burner but it does come to a great climax. The story does move a little slower at the beginning but it does a great job at character development. The ending does pick up the action and delivers some monster carnage reminiscent of some of the classic Universal monster movies.
Finally, the film does have several on screen kills full of the red stuff but doesn’t deliver the gore one would associate with a werewolf film. The kills we do get showcase solid practical effects but I feel as if there was some missed opportunities with the gore. Overall, Betsy is a werewolf film with a bite. The film has the perfect look and is a great homage to classic werewolf films of yesteryear. The cast is great…sexy and deadly. Check this movie out if you ever have the chance. You will not be disappointed.