Director – Ian Messenger (Monkey Farm, Friday the 13th: Legacy)
Starring – Donna Brown, Justin Celani (Monkey Farm), and Tim Christie (Monkey Farm, Friday the 13th: Legacy)
Release Date – 2016
Rating – 2/5
I love getting in bigger budget flicks to review. These are usually movies I’ve watched growing up but was hard to find on a format not VHS and was recently released on blu or dvd. Sometimes these may be newer movies leaving theaters that I want to check out but never had the time to make the trip to the cinema.
As much as I love this bigger budget flick I still prefer this no to low budget indie productions. They are a lot more ballsier and gives the viewer films most production companies would never back. A few nights ago I watched the indie found footage flick Monkey Farm from Catchme Killme Productions. The film was a rough watch but the ending made up for the film. The next horror flick on the chopping block was another Catchme Killme production. This time I will be looking at the anthology film Fireside Tales.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a group of twenty-somethings who gather around a fire one evening to tell ghost stories. The first story they tell involves another group of young adults who is terrorized in the desert by a disfigured man with a knack for killing. The story follows a young girl out for a jog when she is attacked and killed by a oversized man. Her dad goes looking for her and finds the killer wearing her face.
The second tale follows a brother and sister pair that are harboring a dark secret deep in the mountains of the nearby desert. The third tale follows three young women having a movie night but someone is stalking and killing them one by one. The young adults telling the stories think their simple night of story telling and hanging out will end in a night of great memories but something dangerous is lurking around them.**Spoiler Alert**
I went into Fireside Tales expecting a film similar to Campfire Stories and for the most part it was. We follow a small group of young adults telling stories around the campfire while something sinister waits for them in the darkness. Sadly, the stories we see are not that entertaining or original which results in an easily forgettable movie experience.
The acting in this one is not that consistent throughout the film. Some of the stories has cast that does a tremendous job in their role creating genuine characters that feel real while others struggle to find their footing. I don’t have the time to pick apart each and every segment but inexperience is visible in each segment with the wraparound story the biggest example of this. The cast tries to get into character but their dialogue is not natural. Their conversations is awkward to watch at times which is the opposite of the desired effect.
The stories for this one is very clichéd, and predictable. Each tale borrows heavily from classic horror films like The Hills Have Eyes and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The killers have no personality and offer up very little in the way of originality. The characters fall victim to the clichés of these films as well and the stories are very predictable. With that being said, there was one I was very impressed with which involved the young girls having a movie night. Even though the story is predictable and you know exactly where it was going to go you still enjoyed the trip.
Finally, this one isn’t as bloody as I would have liked. There is several deaths but most of which takes place off screen. We get a few gags here and there was minimal practical effects but that is the extent of it. Overall, Fireside Tales was not for me. The film is very familiar and offers very little originality to the genre. Skip this one and check out Monkey Farm.