15 December 2014

AN AMERICAN TERROR

AN AMERICAN TERROR

USA, 2014
Director: Haylar Garcia

6/10











"An American Terror" is the second full feature of filmmaker & musician Haylar Garcia ("Do it for Johnny"), following three bullied schoolmates who try to turn the table on their tormentors by carrying out a massacre at their school's Homecoming Dance, but while they're preparing the bloodbath, they unexpectedly run into a disgusting and merciless killer who's much more brutal and perverse than their own ideas...


It starts out as captivating and surprisingly fascinating teen-revenge-chiller, somwehere between "The Final", "If..." and "Elephant". Gripping and tense, full of intense and rather unsettling moments, stunningly directed and written, revolving around three interesting and somehow likable misfits, played by three terrific actors (most notably: Graham Emmons' extremely believable performance).

Then after the first half hour, "An American Terror" takes a massive turn and descends into torture/slasher territories, which is both good and bad. Good because the sudden violence and brutality comes along like a hammer to your face - bad because what feels shockingly original at first soon becomes shockingly bland and lackluster, due to some annoyingly dull pacing, a sudden occurrence of predictability and an incredibly annoying killer that looks and feels like a mix of the fat guy from "Carver" mixed with the embarrassing Leatherface from "TCM: The Next Generation".


The brutal twist in the middle is basically a great idea, but it was developed in a really disappointing way. Focusing on the movie's Columbine-like elements would have been so much more powerful than merely including worn out torture clich├ęs. The last third tries hard to get back to the intensity of the beginning: some shocks, some thrills and a pretty superb ending, but nothing special, nothing that could save the whole thing from falling into mediocrity.

An interesting film with fab acting and great use of punk & industrial music, but overall quite a letdown. It could have been sooo much better... *sigh*
Fingers crossed that Mr. Garcia gets it right next time!

Imdb

Thanks to Clint Morris for the screener!

7 comments:

  1. ...slowly shows you The List and jots down this title* 8)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That damn list, it's getting longer and longer =)

      Delete
  2. Looks cool. Although I hate when a good high school massacre story is ruined as it's the closest I ever come to being creeped out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It could have been so much better without the torture/slasher part. Still, it's watchable.

      Delete
  3. Sounds interesting even with the letdown - I'll keep an eye out for it.

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  4. Best flick I have ever seen. Horror Me!

    ReplyDelete

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