MTI offers up a return
to the bad old days of the 1980s slasher movie with "Scarred",
a movie that seems eerily familiar--because it is!
So what we have here
is the story of an urban legend gone badly awry, as they tend to
do in this sort of movie. Anyway, a woman is supposedly roaming
the woods in search of a new face.
No, this isn't Barbra
Striesand we're talking about here! Criminy, people! How dated a
reference do you think I can use and still be able to look myself
in the mirror every morning!?
But anyway--she's searching
the woods for a new face to replace the one she lost in a very loud,
grotesque horror movie manner.
And naturally, this is
the night the Hansen family decides to have itself a campout.
Bad timing, aisle three, bad timing on aisle three.
So as you probably saw
coming before you even GOT to this point in the column, the camping
family is going to slam headlong into the face-hunting slasher,
with plenty of blood and screaming as the result.
Okay, okay. So it sounds
like a yawnfest before you even pop the thing into your DVD player.
But how does it watch?
First off, I do hold
out just a little hope for "Scarred"--they went the whole
movie without going the naked actress route.
And of course you have
to applaud patriarch Frank's bald-middle-aged-man's glee at landing
a hot young wife. It's very well portrayed.
But sadly, it doesn't
take "Scarred" long to trot out the stale, tired horror
movie cliches like, around eight minutes in, "Crazy Old Man
Who Knows More Than Anyone Realizes." I thought we got enough
of these "Don't go up to Camp Crystal Lake!" -style shenanigans
back in the eighties.
Not to mention the thirteen
minute thirty seconds sequence of "The Ghost Story Is More
Real Than Anyone Realizes". Oh, and "Let's All Split Up!
We Have A Better Chance That Way!" shows up just before the
one hour mark.
I really shouldn't, and
neither should you, have expected more than standard slasher movie
cliches from "Scarred", which is at its roots a standard
It's a fair movie--this
is by turns the best and worst thing you could say about "Scarred".
What it does, it does well. But it doesn't do anything particularly
special or unique. It doesn't advance on the conventions the genre
produced way back in the eighties. In fact, without the advancements
in makeup technology and the obvious differences in the video quality,
I could swear that this was just some lost and forgotten movie produced
back in the eighties for release now. It could well even be a digitally
remastered title brought back from the depths of the Paramount vault.
Which is the inherent
problem with "Scarred." Nothing new has been accomplished
here--we're watching a movie put on by two guys who apparently just
loved "Friday the 13th" and made a movie almost exactly
like that. Deformed killer, promiscuous kids, clueless adults, ghost
stories more real than anyone cares to admit, scary old people acting
as oracles--the whole enchilada.
The ending is classic
slasher movie, including the appearance of one final cliche: "The
Killer Is Dead! Dead! It's Finally Over! Wait...Where...Where'd
The Killer Go?" Plus the last couple minutes featuring some
of the most truly grating psychobabble I've heard in a long time,
and one final surprise that we probably all should have seen coming.
The special features
include director's commentary, deleted scenes, interactive menus,
Spanish subtitles, and trailers for movies. I don't know which--they
weren't on the promotional DVD I got.
All in all, yawn. This
is a genre that should have been put out of all of our miseries
long, long before now. And though "Scarred" isn't particularly
bad, especially if you're into all those old slasher movies from
the eighties and wondered what one of them would have looked like
with new millenium technology on its side, then run right out and
get a copy. The rest of us will be waiting for Something New and
GRADE: 2 stars **
Directed by Jon Hoffman, Dave Rock
Written by Jon Hoffman, Dave Rock
Starring Julian Berlin, Jonny Mack, Charity Shea, Maxine Bahns
Produced by Jon Hoffman, Dave Rock
Video Store Guy knows the best movies you've never seen. Check his
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