Shocktoberfest 2017! Day Four: Curtains

Curtains (1983)

Written by Robert Guza Jr. / Directed by Richard Ciupka

TFW all the good Halloween costumes at Party City were already taken.

TFW all the good Halloween costumes at Party City were already taken.

Let's be honest.  Slasher films typically aren't that scary.  I don't mean that as an insult, but slasher films are kind of like the action movies of the horror genre.  Their appeal isn't usually a sense of dread or terror, but a morbid fascination with seeing which insufferable character will meet the killer next, each death gorier than the next, not that there's anything wrong with that.  Of course there are the pioneers and the legends of the genre as a shining example to prove me wrong.  There are plenty of Freddys, Jasons, and Michael Myers out there, but there's also plenty of movies like Curtains: a Z-Grade movie with delusions of A-Grade grandeur.  Curtains wastes no time setting up the pins it will be gradually knocking down, gathering together six eager actress types inside a creepy mansion at the top of a snowy mountain range, each with their own generic stereotype as their one character trait.  This movie is a Slasher-By-Numbers movie even when it thinks its on the same level as a movie like Suspiria.  The lofty ambitions it never reaches does keep it entertaining.  It's hard to judge the film on a visual level when the transfer I watched was so godawful.  At times it's impossible to see what's going on or who's doing what through the digital haze.  There is an amusing game to play throughout the movie which is "when does the cameraman or boom operator start to fall asleep?" as there are multiple shots in which the tops of sets are revealed or the boom mic starts to lazily drift into the top of the frame.  The film does create a few great moments of atmospheric horror, particularly through the mask the killer uses and a final sequence that oddly takes place inside a prop storage room that seemingly comes out of nowhere.  Curtains perfectly represents the cinematic version of its six actress characters.  Each one has high hopes and lofty dreams of reaching the top, even though compared to everyone else out there, it'll never make the cut.

Two out of Five Severed Heads in a Fake Toilet