Better the devil you don’t
“When you raise hell, make sure you put it back.”
Director: Bradford May / Writers: C. Courtney Joyner & Randall Frakes / Cast: Ashley Jones, Charlie O’Connell, Patrick Bergin, Bryan Kirkwood, Jennifer Lyons, Elena Lyons, Rashaan Nall, Tim Thomerson.
Body Count: 13
Five L.A. teens drive out to the sticks for a rave and, after being ejected over a fight, are run off the road by a van-load of masked Satan worshippers who are after the blood-drenched girl they found on the freeway.
The kids are chased through the woods overnight and eventually wander into a nearby town where it seems everybody is a part of the sect, known as The Shadows, led by Patrick Bergin’s cloaky fiend.
This Children of the Corn-a-like starts on good form with a good cat and mouse setup, with echoes of the yet-to-be made Wrong Turn (ineffective authoritarians included) but after a couple of midpoint twists are revealed – predictable ones at that – things quickly descend into cheddar country thanks to cookie-cutter Satanist rituals and a pointless, irrelevant sex scene between Bergin and his femme fatale muse.
There’s a final grown-worthy twist stapled on to the end in the name of ‘horror’ but most viewers will probably flag when the chase ends and the idiocy takes over.
Blurb-of-interest: Thomerson was in Fade to Black; Charlie O’Connell was later in Mischief Night.