Slapface on Shudder

Jeremiah Kipp’s (Theresa & Allison, Broken Badges) film is the latest entry to the lengthy monster horror films. Unlike most other monster films this one is not all wham, bam, thank you, ma’am. It takes its time. Attempts to build up the tension slowly. It also is a film that pays homage to the monster films which came before it. In other words, even though it might be moving slowly, there is plenty going on. A film looking to scare you but also requiring you to think.

A young boy is dealing with the death of his mother. He leads a rather lonely existence living in a rundown house with his older brother, Tom (Mike Manning – from television’s Days of Our Lives). Lucas (August Maturo – from television’s Girl Meets World) is your typical loner with no real friends to speak of. So desperate for companionship, he considers a group of female bullies friends. Though most of his time is spent alone.

While wandering in the woods one day he has, what can only be described as, an odd encounter. Not with a person, rather with a monster who is rumoured to live in said woods. Instead of running for his life, Lucas begins a weird kind of friendship with the creature.

Tom’s girlfriend Anna (Libe Barer – from television’s Sneaky Pete), a relative newcomer to the small town, becomes rather concerned about Lucas and the time he spends in the woods. So is the local sheriff. So everyone seems worried about Lucas…besides Lucas. Oh, and yeah, some murders begin to take place.

Right off the bat, you can tell that this is a low budget film. Though they have struggled against the lack of money by making something with substance and style. It is eerie and causes you to question what is going on and what you think you believe. A constant push and pull of is it human or is it monster. Even after the final credits you’ll be wondering if you fully got what went on.

With all the grittiness and realism required to pull all this off, the main elements of the cast are up to the task. Especially the older brother-younger brother relationship brought to life by Manning and Maturo. There is an effortless realistic portrayal by the two of the sibling relationship which completely draws you into the story.

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