That’s not to say that there isn’t a healthy splattering of blood in this movie, but refreshingly it is used sparingly, something I am very grateful for after being subject to endless indie projects that don’t know the benefits of restraint. Also for a film that’s named after a character who smothers people with her breasts there is surprisingly little nudity. I actually found myself caring for characters even when very few of them truly deserved much sympathy.
I should say now that I am not the intended audience for Smothered. I knew that going in, and I certainly knew it during the movie too. However, surprisingly I found that I enjoyed the time I spent with the movie. No doubt I would have gotten a bigger kick out of it had I known and loved all of the actors it had collected together as this is a sort of horror Expendable’s, but what’s important is that it still worked for a horror illiterate average joe like me.
The casting of all the famous horror film actors such as Kane Hodder and Bill Moseley isn’t a mere gimmick, and some thought and care clearly has gone into the production. They pretty much all play versions of themselves who, after attending a rather disappointing convention, pick up work just down the road where they are asked to scare guests at a trailer park. Soon it becomes clear that these guys who normally hunt down their victims are the ones being hunted, and the classic horror formula is, if not turned on its head, at least taken in a fun and interesting direction. There are lot of in-jokes about the industry and the festival circuit which ring true to me, and it feels like everyone was having a good time on set.
However the film does have it share of problems. The nonlinear timeline does work quite well but it is confusing to begin with and at times runs the risk of introducing key plot moments too late into the movie. Also some genuine horror, as supposed to bloody scenes, as well as scares are very much needed here I feel. The movie could have been a lot scarier whilst still keeping a hold of its fun comedic side. There are other issues such as a character who occasionally appears for no real reason but I’m willing to give this one a pass as it exceeded my expectation going in quite considerably. The clever thing here is that horror fans don’t want to see the victims being killed off as they are the very people that they came to the film in order to see. In an inverse of the normal formula and it genuinely feels fresh and entertaining.
What is the film’s greatest strength? The way it plays with the horror icons that are at its disposal.
Its greatest weakness? Amp up the scares considerably, then this could have been something rather special.
Would I see it again? No, but that’s perhaps more of a matter of taste than it is the film’s quality.
Knock out your thoughts in the comment box below!