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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Freaks of Nature (2015)




I found another new horror movie that I really dig. Seriously this might go into my already crowded October rotation! It is a unique take on the monster genre with some well-placed humor tossed into the mix for fun. The fact that it also pokes just a bit of fun at the recent love affair with angst ridden teenage vampires is an added bonus. I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’m sure many of you would agree with me that High School sucked. Popular kids’ vs the rest of us was hard enough. Now imagine if your town and school also had the added issues of vampires and zombies. Petra is a pretty girl that gets bitten by a snotty vampire jerk. He says he loves her but you know how that ends. Dag is human, but his parents are an embarrassment. Plus, they keep wanting to talk about the changes that he should expect his body to go thru at this point in his life. That is a discussion that no teenage boy wants to have with his Mom! Ned is a very smart kid that is completely ignored by his father in favor of an athletic older brother. It gets so bad for him that he purposely gets bitten by a zombie so he can feel no pain and ignore the world. So yeah High School Drama.

Things go completely sideways when an Aliens show up and slap a force field around the town. Why are they in town? Well the vampires think it is a conspiracy against them and the humans think the same. The zombies… well they missed their shipment of brains. All hell breaks loose as we get zombies vs humans vs vampires! This pits Ned, Dag, and Petra against one another, though that doesn’t last. A few twists and turns later and the three have bonded over fighting the alien menace.

I don’t want to give anything away so I’m stopping there. Many movies try to walk that tightrope between horror and comedy, mostly failing. Freaks of Nature is that rare movie that manages it nicely. Vampires explode, zombies lose their heads, humans get drained, and brains get eaten. All on screen and in some cases very funny. The neighbor that won’t die and gives a play by play of the zombies eating him is a great touch. But it isn’t all laughs. The vampire jerk that bites and then dumps Petra is kind of scary. I mean he blithely tosses her around and holds a grudge. After what he did when she disses him later he kind of goes overboard when given the chance. Though that doesn’t end well for him!

The special effects work is CGI heavy, especially with the aliens. But we get some nice looking practical work on the zombies and vampires. Plus, some of the kills are on screen and clearly latex. That made me very happy. I can forgive the occasional digital assist with blood splatter and vampire explosions since the rest of the work is so good. The CGI on the aliens didn’t bother me as much either. They are aliens so the fact they look a bit strange sort of fits.

I could keep going on but that would be pointless. This is a great movie that you should check out. I’ve watched it a couple times now and it holds up well on repeated viewings. I recommend Freaks of Nature. New Horror Rules! Well not really… but all of it doesn’t suck.



© Copyright 2017 John Shatzer

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