Director – Eric Stanze (Ratline, Scrapbook)
Starring – Jackie Kelly (Dope, Coup De Grace), Jason Christ (Ice from the Sun, Undertow), and Adam Ahlbrandt (Hunters, Catch of the Day)
Release Date – 2018
Rating – 4/5
A few years ago I was browsing several horror groups on Facebook when I came across a post for the film Ratline. I started digging through the horror forums and couldn’t find much on the film but my search lead be back to a friend of mine Jason Limberg. Jason educated me on the flick and the director Eric Stanze. He set me on the right path and I got in contact with Eric through Facebook. Eric spoke with me some about his films and I was sent Ratline and Scrapbook to review. Holy fucking shit.
Ratline was a fantastic film but Scrapbook is a piece of underground horror history. Since then I have been a huge fan of Eric Stanze,. I’ve collected most of his films since then. I like a lot of indie directors but Stanze stands among as one of my favorites. His films are more than just mindless blood and violence. They all have a story to tell and do so in graphic detail.
A few years back Eric announce a new film title Stoplight. This working title was soon changed to In Memory Ofand featured two friends of Horror Society Haley Jay Madison and Adam Alhbrandt along with two frequent Stanze collaborators Emily Haack and Jason Christ. This was an exciting movie and one I could not wait to see. Sadly, time took over and I soon forgot about it until Eric reached out to me to check it out. Instant boner! Thank you Eric for letting me see your hard work and letting Horror Society be one of the first set of eyes on your new film.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows the young Amber (Kelly) who can’t get a grip on things. She is the youngest to ever be diagnosed with a rare mental disease and volunteers to try an experimental drug to rid her of this disease. The experiment backfires and she finds herself in a whirlwind of hallucinations and unreal scenarios that test her sanity. She must now make a trek across the country to find the man behind the experiment and fix her memory but is any of it actually real?**Spoiler Alert**
I had no idea what to expect from Stanze. He’s released a wide range of horror films from what some consider to be the first underground horror flick to well thought out and thought provoking horror films. Whatever In Memory Ofwas bringing to the table I knew I was going to be a fan of it.
I loved the acting in this but it did take me a few minutes to be sold on Jackie Kelly. By the end of the film you will absolutely love her performance and what she brings to the table. When the film first began she was a questionable choice for me. I could not figure out why Stanze picked her for role but as the film progressed and you get into the meat of the story I quickly realized she was the perfect actress for the job.
I also enjoyed Jason Christ’s performance. I first saw this talented actor in Ratline and love his performance. He is a very commanding actor and his presence is known. He has the acting chops and the look to be the next horror icon. With that being said, he is very well spoken and make any role his own. Such an amazing actor.
Also, it was pretty cool seeing familiar faces like Adam Ahlbrandt and Haley Jay Madison. Adam is mostly known for his directorial efforts but he can act when the need arises. His performance was different to say the least. His character is very sexual and oddly eerie which worked very well for the film. The same can be said about Haley’s performance. She’s stunning and amazing on screen. Her performance was great and brought a great bit of tension to her scenes.
The story for this one is a little difficult to follow but if you stick with it the pay off is well worth it. The story, which dives deep into mental illness, does take many twist and turns which forces the viewer to dedicate all his time to the film. The story is rather complex and any moment you take your eyes off the screen you can miss key points. The story is rather bold for the budget but Stanze is able to pull it off. However, there was a few moments that seemed to drag on forever. Some of the scenes were very lengthy when they didn’t need to be. This messed with the pacing of the film and can be easily fixed.
Finally, the film was surprising bloody. Once I realized that the film was not your traditional horror film I figured it would forfeit the blood for an “intelligent” story. That is not the case. The film has several bloody scenes with some great practical effects. There is one scene in particular involving a shower that I can not recommend enough. Overall, In Memory Of is not your grandparents’ horror film. The film is a mindfuck from hell that will leave you wanting more. Stanze has truly created a nightmare on film and I loved every second of it. Check this out when you can!