So there’s a group of teens who want to go and stay in this house in the woods – you get the drill, I’m sure, so don’t let me bore you with the unnecessary details. So what’s the gimmick, what’s the U.S.P.? The killer in this movie is the caretaker of the house in which they’re staying – which sounds like I’m revealing a twist of the movie, but I promise you I’d never do that – and he’s crazy as all-get-out because he’s a combat veteran. If you think that sounds offensive to veterans then guess what, you’re probably right.
But, you know, you’ve only got so much offence inside yourself, and is it really worth wasting any of it on a movie like this? It’s a tiny, zero-budget slasher by a first-time director working off a weak script. Sometimes it feels like these sorts of films aren’t actually made in order for anyone to actually see them. Like in Nineteen Eighty-Four, where Oceania’s government had to wage a permanent, unwinnable land war purely in order to burn off enough resources to keep its people from living in comfort, these kinds of films seem to be made just to allow recent film-school graduates a chance to helm something, and to keep actresses like Hayley “not to be confused with her older, more famous sister” Duff in work, because what else are they going to do? Wait tables?
So then, imagine my surprise when Michael Ironside popped up, not even playing a villain (though not exactly playing a hero either). I mean, I’m not saying that Michael Ironside has the quality control of, say, Meryl Streep, but I thought he’d found his niche lifting up mediocre-ish films by being the best thing in them. Neither Highlander II: The Quickening nor The Next Karate Kid nor Terminator: Salvation are classics, but they are major-studio releases in which he gets sizeable rôles. You just have to wonder whether he knew someone working on the picture. Hayley Duff’s not his God-daughter or something, is she? It isn’t on either’s IMDb trivia page, if so.
In any case, the usually dependable Ironside turns in a rushed performance here, and despite his second-billing he’s hardly in it, contributing a couple of scenes in which he chats over the telephone, as if he had a couple of days free and, while he couldn’t commit the necessary time to appear on-screen with the other actors, didn’t mind literally phoning it in, and one climactic scene where he actually confronts the deranged soldier.
Never mind the tedious script, unlikeable characters, flat performances, dull cinematography, poor lighting, uninvolved editing, and entirely uninteresting kill scenes; it shouldn’t speak volumes that nothing here is A-material, because what do you expect? What’s really telling as to just how low the quality of this quickie horror is that a third-rate, five-minutes-of-screentime performance from Ironside is the best thing it has going for it.
Desecrated is available now on VOD, will you be checking it out? Let us know in the comment box below!