The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Oh, the horror

Often the bud of jokes, B-Horror movies are all the rage this week as the After Dark Horrorfest: 8 Films To Die For will be taking place.

The annual horror film festival highlights eight independent horror films released by After Dark Films. They will be showing from November 9 until November 18 at selected theaters across the United States.

Three of the movies that will be playing this year are

“Nightmare Man,” “Tooth and Nail,” and “Crazy Eights.”
“Nightmare Man,” clearly the best of the three, was directed by Rolfe Kanefsky, and starred the notorious Scream Queen, Tiffany Shepis. The movie features Ellen, a woman who comes across a mask which gives her nightmares where Nightmare Man tries to attack her.

She swears that her dreams are becoming more real each time and fears for her safety. Her husband, believing she is crazy, decides to take her to a mental hospital.

On the way to the hospital, the car runs out of gas, the husband goes off to find a gas station, and as expected, all hell breaks loose. After being attacked (or is she?) by Nightmare Man she flees into the woods, not knowing whether or not this was all real, or just her imagination. She runs into a group of friends staying in a cabin and spreads her misfortune onto them.

The film overcomes its small budget and is quite good due to its diverse approach and unforeseen twists and turns. It at times has an old school-Hitchcock feel, at others it uses an 80’s horror movie approach, relatable to “The Exorcist,” all the while still having moments of modern blood and gore.

“Tooth and Nail,” directed by Mark Young, stars Rachel Miner and Rider Strong, with an appearance by Michael Madsen. It takes place after the world has run out of gasoline and most of the world’s population has died off.

A group of survivors has been living in a hospital successfully for almost a year when they save a girl’s life from an attack and then take her in. It is at this same time when another group of survivors who are cannibals called Rovers decide to try to eat them.

The Rovers are legitimately scary and the highlight of the movie. The story itself is interesting but the acting is at times sub-par. That paired with extremely tacky dialogue, comical at times, causes this film to be mediocre at best.

Lastly, there is “Crazy Eights,” the flop of the group. Directed by James Koya Jones, the film features six old friends that are forced to reunite at the funeral of their friend.

While at the deceased’s house, they find a map he left them and follow it as he wished, leading them to find a time capsule they made as children. This brings back forgotten memories they would rather not remember, ultimately bringing dire circumstances.

The movie, at only an hour and twenty minutes, takes way too long to build up to the action. The “action” however, is boring, with suspense seeming to be overemphasized and poorly executed. It drags on from beginning to end leaving it to be a painful movie to watch.

Despite the inconsistent level of quality seen at Horrorfest, the event is certainly worth attending. It is successful in its goal of bringing the genre back to its origins, and it comes off as very genuine.

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