Going back to my bread and butter.
I started this blog by primarily reviewing crappy horror films, and I decided to return to my roots. I’m going back to my roots—don’t you just hate that phrase, I mean, what does it even mean?
Anyway, Asylum of Fear is a low-budget horror film that no one has ever heard of, and it appeared on Prime recently. We once again follow a bunch of obnoxious ghost hunters as the explore a haunted asylum. Also, once again, we have a cliché-ridden, poorly acted, poorly lit, and terribly written horror film.
How bad is it? This is the type of movie that will make you feel better as you watch it because if this can be made into a film, then certainly we can achieve our dreams. The dialogue itself is perhaps the most stilted, forced, and possibly being read via cue card that I have ever seen. I think we should show this to all young people who want to be actors, if these folks can get a gig then anyone can.
I tend to not gripe about special effects too much. I think horror fans kind of have to accept not getting the most cutting edge stuff, but this film does a poor job. Fake lens flare and light bulb shortages only cover part of the screen. It seems that the effects team forgot to have the effect stretch over the entire ratio, so we have these weird pockets of poor effects. The quality reminds me of low budget 80s music videos more than anything else.
Sure, this is a low-budget film, so perhaps picking on the effects is a little unfair. However, if you are such a shoestring budget, perhaps not use them? We are barely six minutes into the film when the production shortages are already distracting, and this doesn’t bode well for anyone wanting to get sucked in. We haven’t even meant the main characters before the film situates itself as sub-B quality.
The reasoning behind making characters objectively unlikable in horror is something that still escapes me. I can’t remember the characters’ names, and I don’t think we were meant to. We have the douchebro with the neck tattoo, the other douche who doesn’t fit into the group, the least believable journalist I have ever seen (douchebro as well), another douchebro—hard to tell them a part—I think this is why they added the neck tattoo, and some gal, who is inexplicably dating douchebro without neck tattoo. Confused? Eh, it probably doesn’t matter. I doubt many will watch this one anyway.
The characters don’t matter because there is absolutely no reason to be invested in any of them. The story sucks, the characters suck, and the only thing that will keep you going is hoping for a brutal torture scene involving the characters. If any would-be filmmakers read this, please stop making movies with fuckhead characters who offer nothing. This is an absolute failure of narrative structure. Everyone involved in this film should be blacklisted from ever offering anything to the public again. If I never have to watch a movie with a bunch of obnoxious and unlikable dipshits again I will be a happy boy.
Also, if there are any would be filmmakers here, do consider my idea for a toilet monster that puts turds back where they came from. Seriously, it would be better than this. 1. It could be horrifying or hilarious. 2. You really don’t need an effects team. 3. I am pretty sure it would be original.
The film may only be around 80 minutes, but imagine the most obnoxious teenagers you can, now imagine spending 80 minutes with them while squeezing your head—sound fun? There might actually be a science lesson here as this film does genuinely feel like it about 6 hours long.
Perhaps the worst part is that we also have to add in a bunch of exploitative sexism from the fucking asshat journalist character. I tend to not call actors out like this, but you’d have to be pretty fucking desperate to take a role as shallow and stupid as this. “Yeah, you’re going to play a brain dead twit with no positive or redeemable qualities, drag down an already crappy film, and have everyone praying for your death”—this must have been the casting call.
Once things go south, as we all know they will, we are stuck watching these idiots make even dumber (and predictable) decisions. Guess what you feel when they are in danger—nothing! Maybe the film should have tried to make likable characters and we would have given a shit. Don’t waste your time, this one isn’t even worth mocking. 0/10