Takes Evil to Know Evil. “The Anatomy of Monsters” review!

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Timid sociopath Andrew patrons alone at a low-end bar, sipping delicately on straight whiskey and waiting for the perfect opportune moment to approach the right lonely woman. Andrew is not looking for a one night stand. Andrew is on the hunt for a victim, but when the night’s odds don’t seem to be in Andrew’s favor, a lovely young woman approaches him at the tail end of the night and begins to make small talk. After a night of coincided flirting, the woman seductively invites Andrew back to her motel room for some provocative foreplay, but before Andrew can move in for the kill, he suddenly realizes that the woman might just be as more of a sociopath than he could ever imagine by turning Andrew’s moment of a gratifying kill into her tragic tale of a more experienced and assured killer.
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Suspense thriller “The Anatomy of Monsters” is the sophomore film from the multitalented writer-director Byron C. Miller and stars Tabitha Bastien, Jesse Lee Keeter, and Connor Marx in a twisted narrative involving love, death, and the struggle between the two. Miller, unfortunately, wrestles to keep buoyant the scope of his story contained as scenes teeter when holding an airtight structure as Bastien’s character, Sarah, asserts her mortal coil. Her plight doesn’t grasp the attention needed to draw in an audience; instead, the back and forth between her present plea with Andrew and her past of leading a double life of affliction with whether to act on her killer instinct with the love of her life or not either passively regresses or just stands completely in place, not moving a motivational inch to take the much needed mile in making us believe in Sarah’s tragic love story and the story is actually, well, tragic by not building the passion between Sarah and Nick, played coyly by Connor Marx, as they just hunker inside Nick’s quaint apartment, affixed to his bed or couch while contemplating their instantaneous love for each other.
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A part of the film’s indelicate sting comes from Tabitha Bastien’s performance. Sarah, in the very definition of the character’s persona, is a sociopath which denotes a monotonous person to be without empathy, to have an ice cold demeanor, and to be calculating in their actions. While Bastien epitomizes a sizable amount of emotionlessness, her presentation leans a bit more toward being ingeniously staged, emitting a phoniness that doesn’t naturally crossover. If I didn’t know better, I would have guessed Bastien was a T-100 cybernetic organism underneath a flesh and blood outer layer from “The Terminator’s” apocalyptic bleak future. What Bastien does attribute very well to “The Anatomy of Monsters,” aside from her mechanical display, is a pair of piercingly bright eyes set upon a unique belle face akin to that of the nice looking girl next door you peeping tom on through the cracks of your window shades. Jesse Lee Keeter opposites Bastien with a more genuine approach that favors a Michael C. Hall similarity complete with a kill kit. Keeter’s Andrew is an example of well-written hesitation, exhibiting more of a killer’s struggle to maintain a low profile whereas Sarah leaves nothing to the imagination, baring it all out on the proverbial table with the extreme potency of egocentric cockiness.
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Along with Miller’s stationary script, the industrial rocker’s sporadic editing technique can be best described having a short-sighted attention span and his shaky handheld camera visually impairs the viewing pleasure of one monster’s monstrous thirst for death. “The Anatomy of Monsters” feature does play the role of being the quintessential independent product, but without stability and patience, Miller’s artistic craftsmanship suffers heavily from the technical aspects with really the only exception stemming from the minor gore scene during Andrew’s brief description of past murders, committing to a solid neck piece mock-up that realistically seeps blood in order to get the good throat slit shot.
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A fond blend of John McNaughton’s “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” and Showtime’s “Dexter,” “The Anatomy of Monsters” is slated for a DVD and Video on Demand release on November 15th from the Philadelphian distributor Artsploitation Films. Certainly a film that’s an attestant to an American-horror, Byron C. Miller explores the corners of the dark and deranged minds associated with serial killers while meddling through the conventional intimate affairs of the masses, spurring an atomically explosive situation from a slowly, simmering boil. Though technically unattractive with arguably underwhelming and sulky performances, suggestions of a greater notion leaves behind an everlasting scar tissue from the necessary urges and the unquenchable desires of a killer can be appreciated.

Watch The Anatomy of Monsters on Amazon Video!

The House that Holds Evil! “Slasher House” review!

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Here is an entertaining little piece of UK slasher horror that will sure be appreciated as well as thrilling. “Slasher House” had finished filming and was wrapped up in a nice bow two years ago but, finally, made an appearance on DVD just last year in the UK. A whole another year later and “Slasher House” hits retail shelves this past Tuesday in the States – about damn time – courtesy of Sector 5 Films. In all honestly, the good old USA missed out on releasing “Slasher House” as this English film’s crew and cast were the highlights of turning a run of the mill survival film into a great little unknown gem of a movie.

Red wakes up stark naked in a cell of a grungy rundown prison. Plagued with amnesia, she can’t remember who she is let alone how she how she got here. When her cell door opens up, Red discovers she isn’t alone as their other captives, but these captives are not so innocent. Within these iron bars and walls, she is trapped with notorious serial killers who are being released from the cells one by one. With no way out in sight, Red must elude the killers as they hunt for her in the corridors. There are more sinister means behind this game, but she must go through the players first to find out why she’s here and who she really is.
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Leading lady Eleanor James was labeled one of Britain’s new age scream queens. Though she delivers no real scream here in “Slasher House,” James’ character resembles more of Milla Jovovich’s Alice character in the Resident Evil series – more so with the red dress, calm demeanor, and feistiness with less kung fu, ESP abilities. Her performance as Red has you rooting for her all the way because she is the first and last “last girl” in “Slasher House” against a handful of murderous sonuvabitches.
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Each notorious slasher has a trademark and a unique personality – a child killer, an operator, a brute, a dual personality – leaving no room for boring characters. Their backstories are briefly told in a flashback anecdote just short enough to give you their whole persona. The plot is a bit more complex than it’s unique cast of characters. I like the idea of bringing a lineup of serial killer allstars into a dirty old prison and letting them face off. I wish there was more of that. Half of “Slasher House” was trying to find an exit and the other half was escaping the maniacs. No real dull moments plagued the film, but with a premise that involves a battle royal amongst the worst of the worst, you would think you’d be up against a blood spattered wall and heads would be constantly rolling. The other half of my mind says the slowed down story goes better with a film like this to build the characters up for a great and glorious downfall.
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“Slasher House” plays out like a graphic novel and could be well turned into one. A great one in fact. “Slasher House” also delivers a twist ending that you won’t see coming until the very end! Speaking of the movie’s end, the open ending doesn’t explain much to the character’s situation. One could only guess to the purpose behind the game, but none of the plans are plainly explained.
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“Slasher House” is a must buy from Sector 5 Films. Two years have I waited for a film like this that could entertain me on a budget while pulling off major production status. I’m very impressed by director MJ Dixon and his vision and his future is bright with indie pictures and possibly get a gig in Hollywood if he keeps turning out good films. If you have a fear of clowns you may want to stay away; other than that, pick this DVD up that was released this past Tuesday the 26th!