Director – Charlie Steeds (Escape from Cannibal Farm, Deadman Apocalypse)
Starring – Kate Davies-Speak (Dead Air, Knights of the Damned), Mark McKirdy (Vampire Virus, Electric Man), and Makenna Guyler (Blood Bags, Coulrophobia)
Release Date – 2018
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “No one escapes”
I decided it was time for some horror action after taking a day off to watch some sleaze from Vinegar Syndrome. After a few sleazy movies I wanted to watch something bloody and violent. As I looked through my review stack I remembered that I had the 2018 horror film The Barge People to check out. RLJE and Shudder had sent it over to review a few days back and the trailer painted a very Lovecraft inspired picture which is right up my alley. I couldn’t wait to check it out and the second I had an opening in my schedule I made time for it. Thank you RLJE for sending this one over.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a group of twenty-somethings who are navigating a canal on a barge when they encounter others. A little mishap leads to an altercation resulting in the group continuing their route leaving behind an angry couple. They stop sometime later to grab some food and find themselves face to face with the angry couple but what none of them expected was something out in the canal with a taste for flesh is now hunting them. **Spoiler Alert**
Director Charlie Steeds is a name I’ve heard prior to getting this film. I’m fairly unfamiliar with his work but I had seen copies of his Escape from Cannibal Farm floating around in various horror groups and pages. Once the press release for The Barge People hit horror sites I found several of those same groups and pages overrun with people talking about the film. Honestly, it looked absolutely amazing. However, it was fun, but there was plenty of room for improvement on this classic styled monster movie.
The acting in this one is solid. The characters in this one are painfully dull and generic but the cast is doing the best with what they have. The story for this one reminds me a lot of a few Lovecraft stories mixed with films like Wrong Turn and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The movie is very reminiscent of films like Lurking Fear and Dagon with the disfigured unnatural creatures that eat humans but the tight nit family environment touched upon briefly will remind viewers of films like TCM and Wrong Turn. With that being said, there is several things I would have changed with this. For one, the part where the mother is revealed feels very rushed and could have been such a huge part of the story. The impact just isn’t there like it could have been. I also didn’t care for a good portion of the dialogue. It almost feels improvised and just does nothing for the story.
Finally, this one is a bloody mess and I loved it. A good portion of the kills takes place off screen but the film doesn’t shy away from the blood. We still get to witness the great practical effects which really fits the film’s theme. Also, the make-up and prosthetics looks great on the barge people. I was really impressed by them. Overall, The Barge People is not the next big name in horror but if you want a late night bloodbath then I highly suggest checking this out!