The much maligned slasher genre, once so strong in it’s heyday (70’s – 80’s) has been limping along in misshapen almost-parodies of itself for sometime now. a shadow of its former self and a huge disappointment for fans of it’s unique charms.
with the possible exceptions of my bloody valentine 3d (a remake so arguably not a recent slasher), I know what you did last summer, haute tension, wolf creek and valentine there has not been a good ‘slasher’ since it’s glory days; and the aforementioned movies share tenuous connections to the genre at best and none have the unique feel of those 70’s and 80’a classics.
TTTDS is a meta self-referencing horror bonanza for those who take their scary movies seriously and have made it their mission to watch the classics and get their best horror history education.
Based on the work of a real life serial killer who stalked small-town Texarkana back in 1946, killing 8 people while he did so and evading capture; and then made into a raw, barely-remmebred horror classic in 1976 which led to scores of ‘killer stalks nubile youngsters whilst wearing a creepy mask’ type movies, with friday the thirteenth’s gunny sack mask being the most obvious homage to this cult classic.
This new version, produced by Ryan Murphy and directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, both of American Horror Story fame, is unique as far as remakes/sequels go as its really both these things – a remake and a sequel in one. It has found a smart way to reference the original movie and recreate it at the same time – very clever and very cool.
With a cast of familiar faces, but a relative newbie as the star (Addison Timlin, best known for Californication, and less forceful than we’ve come to expect from the plucky heroine – I found her vulnerability to be utterly refreshing) the acting is consistently good. The direction and editing are much more artful and beautiful then we would expect from a horror film, (particularly in the slasher genre) and I found the artistic liberties and confidence in the audience to be admirable.
Creepy when it needed to be, nasty in all the right places, stunning to look at, unpredictable, fresh and intriguing, this is a movie I will be recommending to anyone who misses how good horror used to be.
A movie I will be recommending it to everyone.