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A solid and brutal slasher film, Basement Jack brings some interesting twists to the slasher genre that will delight slasher fans who have grown tired of copycat films. Trippy and twisted, Basement Jack hearkens back to old-school slashers in its insanity...
<strong>Basement Jack</strong> (Michael Shelton, 2009)
I've seen a number of reviews of <em>Basement Jack</em> that would seem to be trying to shoehorn it into the retro-horror category with movies like <em>The House of the Devil</em> and <em>Insidious</em>. This tells me one of two things, and I can't be sure which it is: either these folks have no concept of what the directors in the retro-horror movement are trying to do, because <em>Basement Jack</em> never even attempts to take that route, or these folks are desperately trying to find something good to say about what is otherwise a bland, featureless slasher flick. (As I said, I don't know for sure, but I am somehow oddly convinced it's the former.)
Our title character (<em>Miracle</em>'s Eric Peter-Kaiser) is a crazy killer who gets sent up for killing the family of Karen Cook (played as an adult by <em>Bled</em>'s Michelle Morrow) during a raging storm. Fast-forward eleven years. Jack was released from the asylum (writer Brian Patrick O'Toole, most recently responsible for the abortion that was the new <em>Atlas Shrugged</em> script, seems to have missed the bit in every courtroom TV show that tells you that when you're declared mentally incompetent, the hospital is supposed to keep you until you're, you know, better) and, not coincidentally, there's been a string of murders wending its way across the country. Karen Cook, now an adult, is tracking Jack to take her revenge. The two collide in a small town just as the rainy season rolls in.
What these "this hearks back to the glory days of the eighties slasher film!" folks don't get about the new retro-horror movement is that it's not about the subject matter. Yes, they're obviously aping the subject matter, but that's just a function of trying to create a film with the look and feel of a seventies/early-eighties horror flick with a modern plotline, as <em>Insidious</em> did with <em>The Entity</em> or <em>The House of the Devil</em> did with any number of seventies Satanic-Panic movies. For a literary parallel, think about H. P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft is one of the most imitated authors of the twentieth century, but everyone who sucked the blood from Lovecraft's neck went for the crawly things, from August Derleth all the way down to Fred Chappell. They're all decent enough writers, and the stories are amusing, but they don't have that something that makes Lovecraft's work so appealing. Enter Thomas Ligotti, who chucked, for the most part, the creepy-crawlies and took the Lovecraft atmosphere. He showed the world exactly what all those other folks were missing. Back to <em>Basement Jack</em>, you've got Sam Raimi and Ti West and James Wan being the Thomas Ligottis of the film world; Michael Shelton, at least with this flick, is just another Steven Rasnic Tem or Brian Lumley, turning out journeyman work that's competent enough, but pretty darned hard to get excited about when you've got genre giants looking over your shoulder doing it so, so much better.
(As a side note, I didn't know before watching it this is the middle part of a very loose trilogy, the third part of which has not yet come out as I write this; if you value continuity in such things, you will want to watch <em>Evilution</em> first, though I don't think it's necessary to figure out what's going on here.) * 1/2
This movie is entertaining. It is not life changing or ground breaking by any means, but no slasher or horror movie has been since the original Halloween which set the mold for movies like this. The cast is decent. "Basement Jack", the villain is a standard slasher in that he is human with a tormented past but shows super human tolerance to attacks and of course death. Michele Morrow who plays main protagonist Karen Cook carries this film. She gives the most believable performance although the script and cast mates still make some scenes a bit rough around the edges. The ending that screams sequel is a little much considering this is an indie film with a very modest budget but it has become an industry standard so I give it a pass, every good monster/killer comes back. The use of CG in this movie makes a few moments in the film a little stale. One scene in particular where a blade goes through a wall that the protagonist is hiding behind is far too fake, even though Morrow sells the fear well.
Overall, it is a well paced movie with a decent script, an above average cast, a great leading lady, but suffers from subpar effects which is to be expected from a low budget film. I give it a solid 3.5/5, I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to any horror fan.
Gillar idén, genomförandet var väl sådär...
Aaahhh... A good ol' slasher flick. Some of the killing graphics were super cheesy, and I am pretty sure when the cop puts his badge down on the table at his apartment its a plastic one from like the dollar store. Also the whole scruffy long haired killer looks more like a homeless younger drug addict that needs a shower. I am definitely glad we don't have that police department in my town... These kinds of movies are always a bit frustrating because the characters act so completely stupid. The positives in this movie that I liked were the creativeness in the body posing and the crazy mother, she did a good job.
Meh, I have seen much worse might be worth watching if you are a slasher fan like myself.
First of all why did he go from being blond to black hair? That's stereotyping. You'd think a serial killer with a big machete who never speaks would be scary. He isn't. While he's sloooooooooowly traipsing upstairs (which he seems to do a lot) peering through straggly hair, you can't help but think one decent punch would floor him. Problem solved. And why does someone comes through the door every single time he's busy slaughtering someone? Don't people in America respect privacy? The manager guy was totally cute though. And that Detective with the tattoos was hot! And I fucking hate killers who are supposed to be just human but oh no! They can survive aaaaaaaaanything.
Awesome movie! It has a cool little story to it, along with some pretty outrageous kills. Basement Jack should be a new horror icon, I love him and the idea of him. I enjoyed this one!
Basement Jack, although far from brilliant, wasn't a total train wreck. Much like Hatchet and Laid To Rest, this film was a throwback to the old school slashers we once loved! I wasn't crazy about the story, but my biggest let-down was on killer Jack, because as a character he felt a little over explained and for me it takes away from the mystery of the film... I do think it's worth the watch, and consider it a stepping stone for the reintroduction of the SLASHER genre!
I was tempted into watching this by the fact that I spotted that Tiffany Shepis was in it. Sadly she appears in nothing more than a small cameo. And the rest of the film is abysmal. I have to admit that it's very well made and looks great and is well acted for low-budget film. Sadly the plot is clichéd and the dialogue and "action" scenes are just plain boring. There is no attempt at any horror or suspense. Not even any effort is put into cheap fright moment or gore FX. Save yourself some time and go out and watch the grass grow instead. (You will be more entertained)