Thursday, September 28, 2023

No Winners, Only Survivors: All Fun And Games (2023)

All Fun and Games (2023)
Rating: ***
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Annabeth Gish, Natalia Dyer

As standard as the affairs are in this movie, I got to say that All Fun and Games (2023) is at least a fair watch of a supernatural teen slasher flick.

Set in the town of Salem, Massachusetts, the film centers on a macabre knife seemingly carved from human bone as it gets discovered by brothers from a dysfunctional family while the two were riding bikes across the woods one day. Fascinated by the find, younger sibling Jonah (or just Jo, for short) decided to take the knife home despite his older brother Marcus' disapproval, later learning that the blade also comes with an incantation scratched unto it and, upon uttering them, awakens something demonic. The evil presence makes its way through the brothers, eventually settling inside Marcus as its chosen vessel and the night becomes a deadly, stabby game of Hide-and-Seek as the brothers' sister Billie, her boyfriend Pete and her bestfriend Sophie, as well as the family's bum uncle Bob fall victim to the chaos. 

With its concept of a cursed object bringing forth murderous supernatural possessions being far from original, what All Fun and Games (2023) have running for it is an attempt on developing its characters, a breakneck pace and mostly adequate production quality. Despite being overly hostile in some scenes, the relationship between the three sibling leads works on a rather strained yet relatable closeness considering the domestic troubles they have to bear with, painting a sympathetic enough dynamic which is further helped by the acting and writing done during the movie's more drama-focused scenes. This flair with the dramatics doesn't overstay its welcome, though, and the plot devolves into a slasher as soon as night falls and the curse of the knife brings out someone's inner knife-wielding maniac. 

The slasher scenes are a decent bunch; not overly gory but deliciously bloody for the bloodhounds, with a few stalk-and-stab sequences delivering a good sense of suspense and thrills. This all leads to a final act where the remaining casts explore the otherworldly origins of the knife and its curse, challenging the demonic force with a paranormal take on a couple of children's games in order to beat it which would have been alright if it wasn't for the overly cluttered and unsatisfying villain defeat capping things off. It could have ended worse, sure, but it could have rounded up the plot with a better conclusion, too, especially after all of the passable possessed murderer gig.

Production-wise, All Fun and Games (2023) has a competent look to say the least; its camera work captures the chill of its night scenes and its visual editing and effects are usually alright, though some of the CG effects do look a bit hokey. The film, in its entirety, is relatively okay; it's not really setting itself up for anything too grand, but what it is able to achieve makes for a good enough viewing to pass the time with.

1 boy seen stabbed to death
1 girl seen dying from stab wounds
1 girl seen dying from a stab wound
1 male had his throat cut with a knife
1 male hanged with a noose
1 male knifed in the chest
1 male killed with a knife, blood splash seen
1 male knifed through the neck
1 female knifed to death
1 boy beaten and tortured, set on fire (flashback)
Total: 10

Thursday, September 21, 2023

A Nightmare Brat: Milo (1998)

Milo (1998)
Rating: **
Starring: Jennifer Jostyn, Antonio Fargas, Paula Cale

Sixteen years ago, Milo, a ten year-old boy in a yellow rain slicker and sounds an awful lot like someone's creepy basement-dwelling cousin in their twenties, lured five girls to his father's abortion clinic and murdered one of them with a scalpel. He tried to escape from the crime by swimming through a lake, he instead drowned in his attempt. Or did he?

Skipping ahead to the present and three of the kids who were with Milo last, now grown-up, got invitations to attend the wedding of the fourth only to learn that the bride-to-be was just killed in a crash. Our heroine, Claire, decided to honor her friend's passing by taking her job as a teacher at a local school and no soon after, she starts seeing glimpses of Milo scurrying around the playground, yellow rainslicker, bike with card spokes and all. Her students also begun acting weirdly around her, pranking her with live frogs, obscene drawings on the chalk board and getting passed her own childhood photo with Milo scribblings on the back. The school staff and Claire's friends think these are all just tricks from the tykes to test the new teacher, but Claire is convinced that Milo is still out there, somehow alive and haven't aged since, apparently out to kill her and her friends because, um, evil kids will do evil kids stuff?

This one is just kinda existing to exist, honestly; Milo (1998) had the potential to be a creepy killer kid flick with its ideas and a few effective scenes with the tiny terror, but bearing an overly simple plot, lackluster direction and uninspired acting from its casts, the film hardly passes as interesting and instead leaves us with nothing but a dull drawl and some unanswered questions in the end, like who or what exactly Milo is. (I mean, hints were given at the last act suggesting it all had something to do with a botched abortion, but that doesn't explain why Milo is still a kid 40 something years later, or why he's seemingly immortal and/or supernatural) It also doesn't help that the kid just sounds silly whenever he gets talking, nor the fact that there's not a lot of noteworthy murders to write home about, but I will give the movie points for its lead Paula Cale being decent enough on her role, a few creepy aesthetics and, too, the unintentional hilarity of the titular mini-killer's unique characterization. 

It's tolerable, but easily replaceable by better killer kid flicks. 

1 girl stabbed with a scalpel
1 female mentioned killed in a car accident
1 female cut to death with a scalpel
1 female slashed through the gut
1 male found murdered
1 male stabbed to death with a scalpel
Total: 7

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

TV Terror: Chucky - Season 2 (2022 Series)

Chucky (Season 2, 2022 Series)
Rating: **1/2
Starring: Zackary Arthur, Bjorgvin Arnarson, Alyvia Alyn Lind

Previously on Chucky, season one; a Good Guy doll possessed by the soul of Chucky, real name Charles Lee Ray, AKA the Lakeshore Strangler, shows up in the New Jersey town of Hackensack. He nearly manipulated a lonely queer teen named Jake into becoming a murderer, only for the boy to wise up and learn that the doll is actually prompting him to kill as a part of a ritual that's supposed to raise an army of even more possessed Good Guy dolls, spreading chaos across America. Jake, along with his crush Devon and a bully-turned-ally Lexy, and too returning franchise heroes Andy Barclay and Kyle, puts a stop to Chucky's Diabolical plan, with Andy seemingly driving himself and the rest of the living killer dolls to their deaths off a cliff.

Season two starts months after Chucky's bloody reign of terror in Hackensack; Jake and Devon are now living apart with foster parents, while Lexy is undergoing therapy with her seemingly traumatized kid sister and a mother whose milking the tragedy for political clout. Things go South when on Halloween, one of the Chucky dolls tricked the kids into meeting up and have Jake's young foster brother bring the little Good Guy and his expertly crafted home-made bomb to them. After a brief struggle, the bomb is detonated, killing off the tyke, and the three is naturally blamed for the tragedy. But instead of getting thrown off and locked away, Jake, Devon and Lexy find themselves chucked to a Catholic school that specializes in treating problem kids, which also happens to be Chucky's former residence. 

There they face an overly pious Father Bryce (played by Devon Sawa with no connection to the previous character he played last season), a real shortage of mean kids for the kill count, Lexy's struggles with drug addiction and, of course, Chucky dolls going around the school killing random people before stalking the lead trio and their new member to the anti-Chucky movement, a sweet nerdy girl named Nadine. Curiously, though, the story often dips into the same black comedy curveballs as that of Seed of Chucky (2004)'s when it comes to moments involving any killer dolls like one misadventure involving the reprogramming of a captured Good Guy into being good ala A Clockwork Orange, or the arrival of even more Good Guy variants like a really swole one who'd take care of loose ends, as well a Good Guy who may have taken a liking to Apocalypse Now (1979)'s Marlon Brando a tad too much. A fair deal of these mini murderers are often taken care of so easily, which starts to show the downside of Chucky learning how to split his soul into multiple dolls; when it comes to the movies prior to Cult of Chucky (2017) or even Curse of Chucky (2013), there's a satisfying sense of triumph when Charles goes through the beating and get killed in the end as, albeit the knowledge that he'll be back somehow, there's only one of him. Now, when one Chucky doll goes down, there's no more weight to it, no sense of victory as you know somewhere is another one of these little bastards sneaking up on them with a knife, a hammer or, god forbid, the world's quietest chainsaw.

While all of this is going on at the school, season 2 spreads its spotlight to Tiffany Valentine's own little situation when her two young adult children, Glen and Glenda (both played now by Lachlan Watson), shows up one day seeking answers as, for some odd reason, the two forgot that they used to be one genderfluid living doll back at Seed and have been feeling "empty" whenever one of them is away from the other. Tiffany, still in charades as Jennifer Tilly, tries her best to protect her two darlings from the truth, but the ruse gets complicated when the twins discover their mum's dirty little secret: Nina Pierce, the ever-so-tormented lead girl from Cult and Curse, quadruple-amputated to prevent her from escaping and forced to live with the very soul of Charles Lee Ray inhabiting her body. This fork in the road eventually leads to the twins learning about their past and even more murders at the hand of Tiffany as she struggles to keep things in control, both homicidally and financially, leaving Glen and Glenda choosing sides between their loving yet psychotic mother or a small gang of survivors who are out to stop their father's increasingly convoluted plans of horror and terror.

This entire mess of a story somewhat straightens itself up around the near end when most of the players introduced gather around and attempt an exorcism on a Good Guy which is, honestly, one of the best ideas this franchise ever dwelled in. I mean, with all of the pseudo-voodoo going on, how is it we only now tackle the possibility of doing another rite to get rid of Chucky? But as you would expect, things didn't go as easy as expected and, unsurprisingly, characters get snuffed out, including those who were introduced for last minute twists only to have their existence and contributions to the Child's Play lore practically rendered pointless by dying no soon after. (But, hey, at least their deaths were pretty bloody and gory. I guess that has to count for something) The end result of this exorcism-gone-wrong would have made a great season finale but, instead, we're treated with one more episode where we go jump ahead a few months to Christmas and one "final" Chucky doll plots to kill Jake, Devon and Lexy. That concludes the season with Chucky splitting a victim gloriously gory with a chainsaw, and then he himself is carved gloriously gory with said chainsaw, a character we nearly forgot turns out to be evil, Tiffany is on the run and possible in danger herself and the Glen/da doll returns with a new makeover and a new name, Gigi, with plans to see the world~

All in all, this second season of Chucky showcases the very reason why I rarely bothered with media with plotlines expanding over multiple books/movies/shows/whatever; it's simply all over the place and often gets too complicated to follow through. Some established ideas were retconned with twists, only to have it go nowhere and dropped unceremoniously, plus the potential drama between the human characters is just a cycle of bickering and making ups that gets real tiring quickly, which doesn't help the fact that a lot of these troubles feel uninspired and recycled. When it comes to the horror sequences, thankfully, the show still packs a real gut punch with its gore, torture and deaths, sometimes peppered with black humor and mean-spirit that I wholeheartedly welcome. Some cheese can be found, true, but better have that to lighten things up than have the entire show drag on with its crisscross plotting straightfaced and dull.

Frankly, the show's increasing silliness is what kept me watching (Plus, the gore. Of course), though I cannot deny that the amount of clashing surprises, motivations and dead ends hindered me from enjoying this season any further. Hopefully things get more focused story-wise in the future, all the while maintaining the grue and black comedy, but I can't help but think that's wishful thinking considering what I just experienced here... 

1 boy blown up with a bomb (S2, E1 - Halloween II)
1 elderly female frightened into a heart attack (S2, S2 - The Sinners Are Much More Fun)
1 male had his throat cut with a nail file, stabbed to death (S2, S2 - The Sinners Are Much More Fun)
1 elderly male strangled with a rosary (S2, E3 - Hail Mary!)
1 male beaten, heart punched out (S2, E3 - Hail Mary!)
1 male found dead from poisoned wine (S2, E4 - Death on Denial)
1 male shot to death (S2, E4 - Death on Denial)
1 Liv Morgan knifed to death (S2, E4 - Death on Denial)
1 female slashed and stabbed to death with a straight razor (S2, E5 - Doll on Doll)
1 female tossed off a tower, lands on a statue (S2, E6 - He Has Risen Indeed)
1 female ran over by a truck (S2, E7 - Goin' To The Chapel)
1 male blown apart (S2, E7 - Goin' To The Chapel)
1 female gets a thrown bowie knife to the eye (S2, E7 - Goin' To The Chapel)
1 female had her soul swapped, gunned down (S2, E7 - Goin' To The Chapel)
1 male electrocuted with a defibrillator, bursts into flames (S2, E8 - Chucky, Actually)
2 victims found dead, souls removed (S2, E8 - Chucky, Actually)
1 female split in half with (The World's Quietest) chainsaw (S2, E8 - Chucky, Actually)
Total: 18

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Raiders of The Lost Shlock: Playroom (1990)

Playroom (1990) (AKA "Schizo")
Rating: ***
Starring: Lisa Aliff, Aron Eisenberg, Christopher McDonald

Suffering from reocurring nightmare-flashbacks of how he found his entire family murdered inside some old tombs as a child, American archeologist Christopher Hayden decided to revisit the same dig to finish what his late father started as a form of closure, tagging along his magazine editor boss/girlfriend Jenny, his drunkard photographer friend Paul and the photographer’s yoga-loving wife Marcy to supervise and document the find. Their excavation is for an ancient Yugoslavian monastery that's built on top of the tomb of a notorious prince named Ilok, who's said to have bargained with a demon in order to gain eternal life and cured the boredom that naturally comes with living forever by torturing peasants through mostly medieval means. 

Curiously, as soon as Chris steps into the place, he starts seeing and getting tormented by his childhood imaginary friend "Daniel", who may have something to do with the deaths of his family. The further he dwells on this, the more Chris obsesses over digging out all the secrets he could get from the tomb, slowly losing grip of his own noggin before eventually going into a murderous rage by the time he unearthed the titular playroom. All the while, a man who was wrongfully accused for massacring nearly all of the Hayden family many years ago gets an earful of Chris' return, enticing him to escape his confines and leg his way to the monastery to get even with the guy who got him locked up in a mental ward, unaware that an ancient evil has awakened and it demands to be entertained through carnal violence...

Written by Jackie Earle Haley (Yes, that Jackie Earle Haley) and directed by Dr. Giggles (1992)'s Manny Coto, Playroom (1990) starts out, by all means, as a slowburn psycho-horror as we watch our leading archeologist go down the rabbit hole of uncovering the hidden chambers of a tomb while battling his inner demons, brought upon by the memories of his father's abuse and a then-hinted possible supernatural influence. Think Jack Torrance's axe-happy breakdown from The Shining (1980), only we have a sweaty Christopher McDonald's going cuckoo for murder, egged on by a demonic ten-year old. This goes on for about almost an hour, with the rest of the small casts of characters showing concern over Chris' mental deterioration but doing little to nothing to remedy this aside from telling him off how crazy he's starting to sound, as well as suggesting getting out of there while they're still have two working legs. (Right, suggesting, even after one too many outbursts from the increasingly pissed-off prehistorian...) 

By the time Chris' little doomed crew finally decided to waltz back to the nearby town and get help, this is thankfully the same time the film finally kicked things up with gruesome delight and cheesy hokum as the angry archaeologian finally discovers Ilok's playroom full of torture devices, thus earning him the prince's full influence and act out as their executioner. With that, Playroom (1990) delves into slasher grounds and even though there's hardly any strong gore to speak of (save for the last kill), a fair set of the murder scenes are a decently good bunch for their crazily wicked set-pieces, workable cinematography and Christopher McDonald going full ham on his excitable killer persona, playfully taunting and throwing childish insults at his victims before offing them. There's also a brief scene where Miss Virginia 1983 Lisa Aliff's character encounters Ilok in his true form, a diminutive mummified man brought to life onscreen through an animatronic puppet full of jerky body movements and rubbery facial expressions. The whole moment is, without a doubt, this movie's ironic highlight as the hilariously awful-looking scraggily tiny terror is a rather memorable presence, devilishly spewing one-liners while prowling around in one of the stranger cat-and-mouse stalking scenes out there in horror.

As a concept, Playroom (1990) had the potential to be a better movie should its narrative was handled better, delivering on its promising ideas of psychological downfall and maybe even give its small casts a little more depth than your average paint-by-number slasher victims. Still, it succeeds in invoking tension and tone from its gloomy direction and the effective Slavic ruin backdrops, before going all out on the crazy massacre that sets itself well enough as this film's final act, so the film isn't a total loss in my opinion. A tad misguided, but passable nonetheless. 

1 girl found murdered
1 male found dead with a head wound
1 female found murdered
1 female got her back sawed open
1 male repeatedly beaten with a skull, falls into a spiked pit
1 male killed offscreen
1 male had his neck shot off, decapitated
1 male ran through with a pickaxe, dies from injury
Total: 8

Friday, September 8, 2023

An Average Sharp Hand Joe: A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
Rating: **
Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner

When the 2003 redux of Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) made bank at the box office, the decade went on a "reimagining" craze when it comes to a bulk of its slasher films by redoing cult classic titles from yore into lean, mean, modern horror cuisines with varying results of passes and failures. 

More often than not, these reimaginings simply take the name and concept of the movies they're reworking and create entirely different stories around them, all the while paying tribute to the originals with a few jabs and nods, maybe a famous line uttered here and a familiar kill over there. This, in turn, usually rub a good chunk of dedicated fans the wrong way as they argue that some of these remade films hardly resemble the originals they've known and love so it's no surprise that some titles did try to stick to the source material as much as they could, like this 2010 modernized take on a slasher classic about nightmares and a little Ohio landscape called Elm Street. As you would see, that may pose its own shortcomings as well. 

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
opens at a diner where a group of teens witness their friend, Dean Russell (Kellan Lutz), seemingly ends himself by running a steak knife across his own throat. The core cast within the group did take notice of how odd this apparent suicide unfolded, like how Dean uttered at someone that they're not real before the darkly deed was done.

Next to bite the big one is Dean's girlfriend Kris Fowles (Katie Cassidy), who just hours after attending her late-boyfriend's funeral and getting comforted in her room by her ex, Jesse Braun (Thomas Decker), gets sliced across the chest in her sleep by invisible blades while being levitated and hurled from wall-to-wall. Jesse is blamed for the murder and thrown in jail, but he too falls victim to whatever murderous force is picking off the kids one by one. A murderous force burnt like hell, wearing a fedora and a stripey sweater, wielding a glove with knives for fingertips. 

Quickly noticing that their friend group is dropping like flies, our lead duo Nancy Holbrook (Rooney Mara) and Quentin Smith (Kyle Galner) starts looking into a few cryptic clues dropped by the others before they croaked, these including the possibility that they all once knew one another at long-forgotten pre-school and, too, the fact that they all been getting similar nightmares involving a burnt fedora-wearing man lately. It isn't long then that Nancy's mother finally reveals the truth to the two, that they and their late-friends were indeed under the same pre-school class many moons ago and that the school's caretaker, a fella named Fred Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley), allegedly molested them. In an act of vigilante justice, the man was chased into a boiler room and set on fire by mob of angry parents and the kids, somehow, forgot all about this ordeal. 

That is, until recently; somehow, from beyond the grave, Krueger has returned to eliminate all the children from that preschool class by killing them through their dreams, as revenge not only against the folks that roasted his arse, but also against the now-teenage kids who ratted him out. With time running out and Krueger getting closer to killing them, Nancy and Quentin have no choice but to figure out a way to stop and end a killer who only exists in their nightmares.

Now, I wanted to like A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010); it's a shot on making Fred Krueger scary again and, on a certain weight, we did get that as not only the plot tackled the grim characterization of Fred being a child molester and abuser, an idea that was dropped from the original 1984 film for being too heinous, but Jackie Earle Haley also did a fine job giving us a creepy and menacing supernatural killer with his drawl speech and sadistically perverse body language. (Also, I'm probably among the minority who's actually okay with the new look. It strongly implies that he's hardly human anymore) The problem, sadly, is the story and its execution as the movie practically replicates the original to a near tee so there's very little room for creativity and hardly a reason for this to even exist. The only points that set this remake from the original is a new set of teens with updated classes of stereotypes and the idea of micro-naps which, admittedly, works well on the scenes implementing them as it shows the teens slipping in and out of Freddy's reach in real time as they struggle to keep themselves awake. I would also add the little red herring attempt in which we're supposed to question whether Krueger did abused those tykes or not but, let's face it, anybody with common sense would know that he did terrible things to those kids so we might as just well drop that pointless hook. (I mean, again, he's played by Jackie Earle Haley here. Remember Ronnie McGorvey from Little Children (2006)?)

Any attempts for a scare fall dull and cheapened by this movie's use of CG effects for its supernatural elements, as well as jump scares that mostly looked too silly to genuinely frighten. The characters outside of Freddy are also unapologetically bland, basically among the most boring line of victims-to-be which isn't helped by the fact that most of these dead meats were killed off before any worth of development was done for them. The kill scenes, thankfully, are done with a good deal of practical effects with some digitalized enhancements, and some of the visuals that go along with these scenes do echo a familiar vibe of an early Elm Street movie, where Fred is mostly in the shadows and everything around him is grimy and, well, nightmarish. Apart from that, A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) barely stands out and while not a completely bad film on its own as, again, it still delivers on what we expect from an Elm Street movie, a supernatural kill count committed by a nightmare-woven paranormal killer, it fails to bring any sense of charm or creative grit to make itself a rightfully enjoyable watch. 

1 male had a knife stabbed and sliced across his throat
1 female slashed down her chest with a razor glove
1 male stabbed though his chest with a razor glove
1 male set ablaze (flashback)
1 female stabbed through the head with a razor glove
Total: 5

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

I Know What You Wrote Last Few Summers Ago: Killer Book Club (2023)

Killer Book Club (El Club De Los Lectores Criminales) (Spain, 2023)
Rating: ***
Starring: Veki Velilla, Álvaro Mel, Priscilla Delgado 

For the first few minutes, we see a room littered with book pages, a woman getting doused in gasoline and a girl setting everything ablaze with a burning copy of Don Quixote. Moving ahead six years later, we now follow college teen Ángela (Veki Velilla), an aspiring best-selling author and a member of the campus's book club which consists of her friends and acquaintances. She's feeling quite unsure of the quality of her own writing lately so she decided to meet up with a professor after class for some advice, but what Ángela got instead is a very bad time when the guy got too handsy and she narrowly escaped a rape attempt after she opted to be more than the slime ball could handle physically. The assault leaves the shy book writer traumatized but fortunately for her, the book club has her back and they all plan to get even on the shmuck by pranking him hard.  

As the night for revenge comes, everything was going according to plan; dress up in matching clown costumes, break into the professor's office, smash some shit and scare the bastard shitless, but all of this excitement goes horribly awry when the educator gets attacked for real, leading to him stumbling off a building floor and getting skewered through a statue's spear. Horrified of this unexpected turn, everyone involved in the prank swears secrecy, burns away their costumes and tries moving on with their lives in the midst of the media circus the professor's supposed accident/suicide eventually reels in the following morning.

No soon after, though, the gang gets an email invite to read the very first chapter of a new online horror novel penned by someone monikered "Madclown", detailing a familiar scenario of eight book club members who killed their professor out of revenge. The writer promises death to the killer book club and, true enough, our gang starts getting stalked, hunted and murdered one by one by a figure wearing a familiar-looking clown costume, wielding a deadly rock pick...

Looking into the plot, there's not much to write home about Killer Book Club (2023)'s story as it is basically a mash-up of I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)'s secrets-unburied-turn-deadly gig and Scream (1996)'s meta-horror murder mystery, down to the characters getting their trust tested as they suspect one another of masterminding the attacks and disappearances, as well as the gang discussing the possibility of our villain being a horror buff considering their knowledge of slasher tropes and using this hunch to narrow down their potential suspects. There's little room for surprises here, though there is an attempt for novelty as the killer writes down the murders as chapters for their online novel, posting them moments after doing the deadly deed.

Execution-wise, the movie still does enough good to warrant a viewing; while the direction has its moments relying on the characters' odd and/or dumb choices to get the story going (like answering and following a text that's obviously a trap, or going along with a suspicious invitation to a book horror fair where everyone is dressed up as clowns), there's a charm to its familiarity, like a low-key throwback to the ideologies of postmodernism and skepticism commonly found within most 90s teen horror. The murder scenes are also among the movie's stronger points as a fair bundle of them have decent set-pieces and chase scenes, shot and edited to showcase the energy of their cat-and-mouse antics and a few are even punctuated with gruesomely bloody slayings. The camera work is scenic at its best, the acting is passable and even though the mystery behind the murders gets answered in the climax unspectacularly at first, we do get an unexpected twist that ties most of the loose ends wonderfully and makes the final act devilishly fun. 

Killer Book Club (2023)
may have failed to bring anything new to the table, it does still deliver the bodycount goods and, honestly, it all could have been worse. Should you find yourself in a charitable mood for a teen slasher mystery at its most basic and don't mind some pastiche along the way, this one's a good watch! 

1 female doused in gasoline and set on fire
1 male fell off a building and lands on a statue, impaled
1 male gutted with a rock pick
1 female impaled through with a rock pick's handle
1 male found dying from a throat cut
1 female found dying from a stabbed chest
1 male knocked off a building and impaled mouth-first through a statue
1 female caught on fire, burned to death
Total: 8