This is your better-than-average slasher flick. The acting is certainly better than what we’re used to for the genre. You’ve got Oscar winner Holly Hunter, Mr. Jason “Serenity Now” Alexander, the guy from Moving Violations who really, rehheheally likes horror movies, and the sweet but doofy guy (also in Moving Violations) who liked Stacy before (and after) she got knocked up by Damone in Fast Times. Oh, and an impossibly young Fisher Stevens. The effects are done by Mr. Tom Savini.
Thankfully, this movie is not from the tired “everyone is dead but the last person, before she even finds the bodies, and then she spends thirty minutes running around” school of slashers. In fact, instead of a final girl, we arguably have two final boys. Sadly, the twist is more of a sharp turn, and I figured it out very early in the picture. Other than that you’ve got every single dead person killed with garden shears, although the group snip and clip on the Boy Scout raft is a standout and not to be missed.
But most excitingly for me, I am able to report to you that I have proven my hypothesis regarding the phrase “going to remember this for the rest of [insert possessive pronoun here] life.” It’s better than the Caine-Hackman connection, people! More than saying “Candyman” or “Helen” or “Bloody Mary” or “I’d sell my soul to the devil if I could blah blah blah,” I can now state definitively that if one utters the phrase, “I, you or they am/are going to remember this for the rest of whomever’s life,” PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE!
1. Prom Night: Jude tells Slick she is going to remember this night for the rest of her life, right before the van door opens and her throat is cut.
2. Madman: After scaring the crap out of the campers with the obligatory true-but-the-teller-doesn’t-know-it’s-true scary campfire tale, the camp director says, “these kids are going to remember this for the rest of their lives.” Which are very short!
3. House of Death: when the two body donors before the beginning of the credits are arguing about whether they are going to do it on the motorcycle under the train trestle, Horny Guy convinces Stupid Girl that scromping while the train goes by is something she will remember for the rest of her life. Then a guy kills them simultaneously with a rope and we watch their bodies float in the water while the most inappropriate adventure horns and cymbals music plays forever.
4. Finally, The Burning: the veteran hospital worker convinces the n00b to take a look at the crispy man who will become our slasher in the burn unit, promising him he will remember it for the rest of his life. The burned guy springs to action and the camera freezes on the horrified screaming veteran. Then a bunch of people die.
So remember this. Never say “for the rest of my life,” even if you are going to say “I’m going to breathe air for the rest of my life,” cause you might find yourself in an iron lung ten seconds later. Or on Venus. Just don’t say it, okay?