What signifies a great horror project is its emotional relatability. Therefore, anyone who has been mystified by the behavior of their parents as a child is sure to find true connectivity to Red Clark’s Gray Matter.
Here a small town boy seeks asylum from his home life by approaching a motley group of pub regulars. His alcoholic father (finely played by indie wonder kind Larry Fessenden) has begun acting strangely and the kid has begun to fear for his life. His rescuers get more than they bargained for, though, as their worlds soon dissolve into gooey mayhem.
Based on a Stephen King story, this short film is filled with impressive natural effects. But what is most significant is the atmosphere that Clark creates. He and his believable cast, including Chicago theater actor Aaron Christensen, honestly capture the rhythms of rural life and its grizzled inhabitants. Everyone who grew up, awestruck, in such circumstances will find a piece of their past magnified, wisely, onscreen for them here.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
Rachel Melvin’s tenure on the soap opera Days of Our Livesis put to good use in the indie horror film The Rake. As much of a monster flick as an exploration of the emotional fallout of damaged childhoods, this horror exercise doesn’t overstay its welcome and emerges as a nice addition to the creature feature genre.
Clocking in under 80 minutes and featuring smart direction from Tony Wash, the primary running time of the film is focused around a weekend get together hosted by Nicole (Melvin) and her husband Andrew (Joey Bicicchi). As past hurts are examined and new hopes emerge, it appears that someone (or something) is hunting the couple and their family and friends. Soon reconciliation and redemption are replaced by grievous bloodshed…and death.
The script by Wash and Jeremy Silva doesn’t necessarily explain everything. One doesn’t totally grasp what the rake of the title is or gather all the details of how Nicole is connected with the others, but the final 30 minutes of the film is a beyond enjoyable stalk n slash. Melvin and her co-stars also deliver the dramatic goods, a testament to their impressive talents and Wash’s keen ability to work with them.