If you liked You’re Next, this is a must see. Before that mega-hit, there was this indie film. I like to call this cast the Bat Pack. You know… like the Brat Pack from the 80s? Get it? Ok. All jokes aside, this team has been on most horror fans’ radar for a few years now but has really blown up in the past year or so. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, this pack includes AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, and Amy Seimetz (who are often seen working with Adam Wingard, Ti West, and Kate Lyn Sheil). Get to know these people and you will discover some amazing films, if you haven’t done so already!
There are two interwoven plot lines that we follow in A Horrible Way to Die. (By the way, how great is that title?) AJ Bowen is terrifying as notorious serial killer Garrick, a monster of brute force, who escapes from prison. And on the other hand, we have Amy Seimetz playing his ex-girlfriend, Sarah, who is a recovering alcoholic. Sarah meets Kevin, played by Joe Swanberg, at an AA meeting and the two forge a tentative relationship. Even though the story is not entirely linear it is not hard to follow. We get flashbacks of Sarah and Garrick’s past before he was arrested, followed by present day Sarah trying to keep her life together as Garrick inches in closer and closer.
This isn’t a traditionally fast-paced horror film but I wouldn’t call it slow either. The pace is fitting for the melancholy story, edged with tension and brief moments of brutality. Besides a terrifically original story, the cold and harrowing atmosphere is to die for, aided by a bone-chilling soundtrack. It kind of reminds me of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. The bleakness is so strong in this film; you know nothing good will come out of it, realizing this even after only 15 minutes of viewing. Every scene feels so real and natural. The realism is probably what makes this one feel like it sticks to your insides long after it is over.
The chilling climax takes place at a secluded cabin. This scene is probably one of the most shocking twists I have ever seen. I don’t see how anyone could see this coming. It is absolutely spectacular. The grisly bloodbath at the end is worth waiting for every minute. This is a sick, nasty love story that tugs your heart in every direction. I dare you to try to not to get chills as the credits role.
And this just made my day:
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