‘Scarred’ review by Chris Barnes
Note to self: If I’m ever on route to a poorly-scouted, isolated, rundown, rural hideaway and happen to stop off at a local diner, only to be told by a native (who uncannily reminds me of an older, hairier Jason Voorhees) that my destination once belonged to a family whose strange, GIANT son’s face was horrifically mutilated by an abusive dad, DON’T laugh it off, kiss the advice-giver’s arse profusely in thanks, peel my eyes away from his girlfriend’s glorious chest and return to Blighty before normality realizes I’m gone. Is there anyone who wouldn’t do the same? Well, yeah; more people with glorious chests, it seems….
Ah well, every cloud, I suppose.
Meet Brooke (Tina Grimm), Asia (Alex Russo), Jess (Jessica Lauschin) and Marley (Haley Kocinski) – our ditsy, scantily-clad, fine-looking fodder, shipped to the old Kandie residence for a photo shoot and an impromptu audition for a low budget horror film. By this time we’ve already glimpsed gigantic Jonah (getting right into the spirit of things with a lump hammer and a missing girl’s head) and a neighboring family – a member of which, daughter Tiny (Molly Miller, the surprise star of the show), seems to know a great deal about our disfigured anti-hero.
The official synopsis goes like this:
Four models go on a photo shoot at an abandoned house previously belonging to the infamous Kandie family. Little do they know that Jonah Kandie still lurks there, seeking revenge on anyone that comes near after being scarred beyond recognition by his father as a young boy. One by one, the models soon become the victims of the vicious killer’s merciless hatred for all things beautiful. So, you’ll have gathered by now that Scarred doesn’t drastically redesign our beloved slasher stencil and if you’ve seen The Burning, Friday The 13th et al then you’ll guess with little effort what awaits our heroes and heroines at each signposted turn, but what the gang at Fright Teck Pictures have managed to convey (in the main) which many similar films don’t is palpable enthusiasm, meaning the reported $10,000 budget seems to stretch further than it perhaps should. I say ‘in the main’ as there are obvious flaws, but writer/director Eddie Lengyel has created a villain that could easily warrant a sequel or 8, thanks to a competent backstory, an attempt to flesh out each character (some portrayed with more talent than others) and unexpectedly admirable special effects – each set piece a controlled and thoughtful gory feast for you filthy, feral fiends out there.
Should a sequel come, Don Kilrain’s Jonah has all the attributes and minute characteristics to carry it off, hopefully with Molly ‘Tiny’ Miller in tow, a bigger budget and greater attention to the minor details that drag you away from the narrative every so often; such as an occasional overly-long pause in dialogue or acting misstep. Other than that, this is an old-fashioned slasher, boasting respectful nods, Ari Lehman (the original Jason Voorhees) in a great supporting role, a good-looking cast (including Playboy model Lisa Neeld) and inventive ways to slaughter the majority of them disgracefully.
Chris Barnes (@TheBlueTook)