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Slapface

USA 2021
produced by
Mike Manning, Artisha Mann Cooper, Joe Benedetto, Lisa D'Ambrosio (executive), Curtis Braly (executive), Chris Maturo (executive), Maha Maturo (executive), Alixx Schottland (executive), Nicholas Tocco (executive), Shintaro Shimosawa (executive), DJ Dodd (executive) for Dread, Chhibber Mann Productions, Mirror Image Films, Artman Cooper Productions
directed by Jeremiah Kipp
starring August Maturo, Mike Manning, Libe Barer, Mirabelle Lee, Bianca D'Ambrosio, Chiara D'Ambrosio, Lukas Hassel as monster, Dan Hedaya, Alixx Schottland, John Backstrom, Mack Kuhr, Nick Theurer, Curtis Braly, Maha Maturo, Joseph DiGennaro, Stella Hollon-King, Larry Mihlon, Michael David Thurston, Marc Abbott, Debra Khan-Bey, Tim Dwyer, Tina V, Bryan Enk, Keith Dworkin, John M. Cronin, Scott Manley, Rolando Zapata, Ilaria Malvezzi, Rick Thurston, Brandon Montgomery, Steven C. Ham III, Ryan Ballard
written by Jeremiah Kipp, music by Barry J. Neely, special effects by Ill Willed Productions, cinematography by Dominick Sivilli

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Somewhere in the middle of nowhere, rural USA: Ever since they've lost their parents, Tom (Mike Manning) is trying to raise his younger brother Lucas (August Maturo) - but even if Tom does truly love his brother, he just isn't cut out to be a parent, he's too young, to inexperienced, and quite frankly too immature. Plus, he also needs to work, leaving Lucas on his own during the day. And that's where the problems start as Lucas has no real friends, the only local kids his age are bullies Donna (Bianca D'Amrosio), Rose (Chiara D'Amrosio) and Moriah (Mirabelle Lee), who constantly tease him. And that Moriah, when the others aren't around, tries to be Lucas's girlfriend doesn't make things any easier as the boy's much too young to understand his own or her feelings.

One day, when checking out an abandoned building, Lucas runs into a monster (Lukas Hassel), and even though the monster at first scares him shitless, he eventually makes friends with her, and the monster grows quite fond of Lucas and tries to protect him wherever she can - like when he's chased by a dog gone wild. Thing is, the monster doesn't always understand the ways of us humans ...

Eventually, Tom's new girlfriend Anna (Libe Barer) moves in with them, and she tries to be the parent for Lucas that Tom just fails to be. But the monster misunderstands Lucas's relationship to Anna and eventually kills her - but hides her body, so everybody's baffled about her whereabouts - to a point where Tom thinks Lucas might have had something to do with her disappearance. And things truly go downhill from there as nobody with links to Lucas is safe anymore ...

 

A slowburn yet fascinating piece of horror that really chooses atmosphere over jump scares and really leaves much (including the actual features of the monster) to the viewer's imagination - and to great effect, too. But what really makes this movie that it tries and succeeds to create a very "real" world feel, with fleshed out characters, relatable situations, and little in terms of genre tropes. On the basis of this, the film very readily opens itself up to all sorts of interpretations, which of course only adds to the film's overall attraction. And of course, a solid cast also sees to it that this is good if pretty unusual genre fare.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD