Saturday, February 4, 2012

Twist upon twists upon twist: Frayed (2007)

Frayed (2007)
starring: Tony Doupe, Aaron Blakely and Alena Dashiell

I like to be fair in my viewings, so rating films has always been the hardest thing I got to do as a horror blogger hosting a review site like this. At times, a film had potential and loved by many, but I've felt the opposite once I saw it. Sometimes I see what was good, but it' not as hyped as many would make of it.

Frayed is one of them; a call from the past, made with style and flair, but it lacked the proper action that would had got me liking this film. It's about an escaped mental patient named Kurt Baker, who years ago had bludgeoned his own mother with a baseball bat in one shocking and effectively disturbing opening. Now broken out and appears to be hellbent on killing, Local sheriff Pat Baker is taking all precautions to stop his own son from taking more lives, including that of his own daughter who is out camping in the nearby woods. As a trail of murder follows behind the escaped loon, Gary, a security guard, joins in to stop the killer and is in pursuit, only to find himself hunted by the same man he's after.

Frayed, while it did follow the structure, it actually spends more time talking about the threat as they hunt it. It was a very tedious effort to go through it, as the murders barely sparks any interest (screwdriver murders, nearly all of it the same and offscreen) and the hunt failed to be anything but exciting. In turn, it builds the atmosphere of the situation, and cloaks the whole story with a sense of mystique in it that hides a particular twist at the end.With that being said, it wasn't until the last third act that the film finally got its kicks. But, even by then, the film decided to go twisty on us in the last few minutes, taking cues from twists in movies like Haute Tension or even  Korea's To Sir With Love. That wasn't necessarily the bad part of the film, but it was the lack of thrills and the ineffective chills that bothers me the most, which killed most of my anticipation for the ending.

To be fair, the Frayed did a good job on production despite the low-budget. The killer had his creepy moments, with a hand-made clown mask on his face and the darkened woods to cloak him at night, he gave this film its genuine creepiness. The plot has thought, a rare element in a slasher flick, making it more of a (patient) thinking man's horror flick, going through budget restrictions and crafted a worthwhile story. The twist was good, it's just that, for some, it's not worth it if the rest of the film failed to live-up to the ante of the opening. If it's anything, it may put some viewers to sleep upon first viewing (second viewings were actually more tolerable once you see it coming), but seasoned watchers might see an underrated masterpiece beneath all that talk and slow moments.

While sluggish pace and the failure to deliver the bloody goods maybe this movie's weak heel, it's attempt to make a "smart" slasher might worth a few look. Just don't expect a full blown gore fest; It's subtle, but nowhere a pushover.

1 female head pulped repeatedly with baseball bat
1 male seen murdered
1 male repeatedly stabbed in the neck with screwdriver
1 male screwdriver to the back
1 male screwdriver to the forehead
1 male neck stabbed with screwdriver
1 male accidentally shot
1 female screwdriver to the chest
1 female stabbed to death with screwdriver
1 male shot

No comments:

Post a Comment