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No consensus yet.
All Critics (3)
| Fresh (2)
| Rotten (1)
A demented and deliciously engrossing horror film...
Not even the few moments of grim humor and bloodletting can salvage the flick's leaden pacing and overbaked narrative.
ultimately The Hamiltons is still a damn solid film.
I really liked the gore. After looking at what's displayed here i'm very confident in saying that the directors; The Butcher Brothers, clearly understand how to make beautiful, physical blood effects, and I think they have a real future within the horror film industry. However apart from that The Hamiltons is quite literally all over the place. It tries very hard to be a profound drama about the civilised family, and how without good management in the household everything can fall apart. But surprisingly the film does actually fall apart in the end. After a creepy and interesting set-up the rest of the film is uninteresting and dissapointingly dull. I will praise both the acting and the gore, but the script is weak and it's got it's ideas and morals all jumbled up. It has a very interesting premise that could have been moulded into a tremendously surreal and eerily disturbed drama. But in the end it doesn't work and it doesn't help whatsoever that not once was I scared by it, or even interested in it at all really.
Actually a pretty decent film. Some parts were weird/off/irrelevant but it wasn't that bad. I was asking a lot of questions about the plot in the beginning, but by the end all my questions were answered (surprisingly). I was actually expecting a bunch of plot holes, but nope. It's pretty self explanatory by the end, a nice twist too. I went into this movie with very low expectations, and it was actually a lot better than what I thought.
I'm going to be generous here and chalk up all of the problems that I had with this film to "budget restrictions".
I'll follow that up by saying that I think the basic premise here is intersting and while there have been variations of this "theme" over the past several years...I think this film had a (rather) fresh approach to it.
One of the main issues I had is that it felt like they just couldn't decide (character wise) what they were going for here.
At times their approach felt very "tongue in cheek", some parts felt like they were going for "deep, dark and brooding" and at times it felt like they wanted that "torture/horror" feel that seems to be all the rage lately. Each of which can be effective in the horror genre, but are very difficult to do (WELL) all in one film. Had they decided on one or even narrowed it down to two, it may have been better.
Making this even more of a challenge was the acting, which was mediocre and slightly cartoonish at times. And the dialog was often times painfully bad.
As a first/early film for the Butcher Brothers, it's impressive. As a horror film in general...it is simply o.k.
Directed by: The Butcher Brothers.
Starring: Cory Knauf, Samuel Child, Mackenzie Firgens, Rebekah Hoyle, Joseph McKelheer.
One of the 8 films to die for 2006...the fact that we don't have anything like that in this country always annoyed me, but seeing as the movie's are slowly appearing on DVD here, at least I get to see them. The Hamilton's will be the second film I have seen from this festival lineup and after the disappointing film 'The Abandoned', this shows promise.
The story follows The Hamilton's, who seem like such a normal family. When there parents die of a mysterious death, they stick together with the oldest being the 'man of the family'. But they hold a horrible secret that keeps them going. They move house every few months with new identities. They kidnap people...but what for? And who is 'Lennie' that lives in the basement that they feed the victims to?
The front DVD cover and most of the marketing made it appear like a horror film...but it isn't really and this is both the films strong and weak point. What impressed me was the study of character. What lacks in a lot of horror based films nowadays is character. We explore one of the younger siblings grip with his families secret and how he questions the saying on 'how families should stick together', even when he believes it, it's a rather interesting and refreshing look that isn't spectacular, but considerably deep...but with the cast consisting of 4 characters, 2 are misdirected. Introducing Wendell and Darlene, twin brother and sister with names that go well together (of course). They are meant to represent the 'darker' side of the film and although they show us clues of where the film might head (I won't spoil anything), they are completely unlikable and cliched...and a change from the other two. Some of the horror elements are interesting, with a few moments of tense atmosphere and decent lighting, it is effective but lacks a balance with the rest...and anyone expecting gore will be disappointed (aside from a few key shots). The acting is a little too mundane. As expected from a very unknown cast, each actor has no real qualities to mention that shows promise, but it never takes the film down as neither of them are really bad.
The twist at the end is certainly shocking and sudden...and I give credit to that, but then the reveal of 'Lennie' is a disappointment. That pretty much sums the film up though, although it is a very interesting character study, with thoughtful dialogue and quite a refreshing take on certain elements of the genre, it is balanced with a slow pacing, mundane acting, little gore and very little in the way of horror, as advertised. Still, a very promising start from 'The Butcher Brothers' (even there screen name shows promise) that beats many modern day horror films out of the water and it continues to show that Independent cinema is the way to start.
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