Friday, January 8, 2016

#1,971. Charlie's Farm (2014)

Directed By: Chris Sun

Starring: Tara Reid, Nathan Jones, Kane Hodder

Tag line: "The violent history of Charlie's Farm is brought brutally to life when four horror seeking youths stumble across a legend that refuses to die"

Trivia: Charlie only says one word throughout the whole film: "Pretty"

Looking for a little adventure, a group of friends: Natalie (Tara Reid), Jason (Dean Kirkright), Melanie (Allira Jaques) and Mick, aka “Donkey” (Sam Coward), drive hundreds of miles into the Australian outback to spend a weekend at a farmhouse that once belonged to the Miller clan, a family of cannibalistic killers. Though most believe that the Millers were murdered by vigilantes, there are some who contend that their son Charlie survived, and continues to guard his family’s land. Ignoring the folklore and the warnings of several locals, the four make their way to the place that’s become known as Charlie’s farm, only to realize some legends are dangerously true.

Like most movies of this ilk, 2014’s Charlie’s Farm features dumb-ass characters (doing dumb-ass things) who pay the ultimate price for their stupidity. Even Tara Red’s Natalie, often the voice of reason (advising against the adventure from the start), annoyed the hell out of me. In fact, the biggest problem I had with the movie is that it spends far too much time in the company of dolts.

Aside from that, however, Charlie’s Farm is an exceptional horror film. A series of gruesome flashbacks, starring the great Bill Moseley as the Miller patriarch (a character similar to, though not as intense as, his Otis from Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects), fill in the blanks as to what happened at the farm decades earlier; while Nathan Jones, playing the grown-up version of Charlie (in the flashbacks, he was portrayed by young Cameron Caulfield), makes for an imposing monster, a mentally slow but extremely strong psychopath who takes pleasure in the pain he inflicts on others. To top it off, the kill scenes in Charlie’s Farm are as inventive as they are gory, with each new victim dispatched in as grisly a fashion as possible. And keep an eye out for horror mainstay Kane Hodder (Jason in Friday the 13th Parts VII and VIII, as well as Jason Goes to Hell and Jason X) as boxer-turned-hero Tony Stewart, who does what he can to save Natalie and her pals (if nothing else, his showdown with Charlie is fairly memorable).

Most horror fans will have seen all this before, but Charlie’s Farm is told with enough style and vigor to make it a solid entry in the slasher genre.

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