"Crazy Eights" DVD
We're getting to the
end of the After Dark Horrorfest coverage, and as such, we're
getting to the stuff I was most looking forward to seeing. Former
porn diva Traci Lords is well on her way to being a bona-fide
scream queen, and her appearance in "Crazy Eights" sure
isn't going to hurt.
The plot, meanwhile,
is also something that won't hurt--eight kids with a surprising
secret in common go back to the place where they grew up to attend
a friend's funeral. Said friend has some creepy last wishes, and
those last wishes will tell the now grown-up kids a lot more than
they ever wanted to know about their pasts, and the secret they
forgot that binds them.
The first thing you
should notice about "Crazy Eights" is that it goes so
very far in trying to scare you, even from the outset. Some excellent
audio and visual cues go into the narrative, turning what might
be minor exposition into a jarring, nerve-rawing ride. But, considering
the rather abbreviated runtime we're dealing with here, it's less
of a surprise and rather more of a necessity. This thing HAS to
move with blazing speed to try and pack it all into eighty minutes,
so I definitely applaud them in still trying to get exposition
out in front of us but also sparking it up.
Also worth noting about
"Crazy Eights" is that, somehow, it manages to get more
atmospheric the farther in you go. Normally, a movie will use
atmosphere to build dread and then burn it off the farther in
you get, almost as the audience gets used to its surroundings.
Thus, the surroundings get less atmospheric, and as the net gain
falls off, the movie will switch tracks to try for scares. "Crazy
Eights", meanwhile, will simply change the setting WHILE
it tries for scares, thus building a new batch of atmosphere-driven
dread while burning it for the shock value.
is one of the first movies I've ever seen that manages to have
its cake and eat it too. It's like some kind of giant jigsaw puzzle
in a room lit only by a single spotlight. You see little bits
of it at a time, and the more you see, the more the puzzle starts
to make sense. Eventually, by the end, you can see the whole picture,
and that's when things get really scary.
is a solid and skillfully executed film, and should definitely
leave you plenty scared. It makes the most of its flimsy runtime
and executes some truly spectacular scary moments, leaving it
a taut, adrenaline-laced masterwork that will leave you wanting
The ending is a little
bit flat, but it does manage to tie together the loose ends, even
if it's a bit predictable alongside of its relative lack of scares.
The special features
are limited to English and Spanish subtitles, along with Miss
Horrorfest Contest webisodes.
All in all, seriously,
really impressed with "Crazy Eights". It represents
excellently just what the After Dark Horrorfest is about--it's
a well-made scary movie that very seldom disappoints.
Directed by James K. Jones
Written by Dan DeLuca, James K. Jones
Starring Traci Lords, Dina Meyer, George Newbern, Gabrielle Anwar
Produced by John Kaila, James K. Jones, Dan DeLuca, Patrick Moses
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