By Lois Kennedy
Director: Ronnie Khalil, Monroe Mann, Jorge Valdes-Iga
Cast: Ronnie Khalil, Monroe Mann, Crystal Arnette, Justin Brown
Six friends head out to Maine to find Stephen King’s lake house. Run-ins with creepy locals have them guessing whodunit and bickering amongst themselves when a killer starts picking them off one by one.
It’s meant to be a horror comedy—the trailer makes it look really good—but it manages to be neither. The characters are based on slasher movie cliches. Announced by title cards, there are Lamont the “token black friend,” Ronnie the “creepy virgin” (played by writer/director Ronnie Khalil), Nicole, a “great pair of… personality,” Hilary, a “know-it-all,” Lori the “forsaken girlfriend,” and Monroe the “pasty white boy” (writer/director Monroe Mann). All of them are obnoxiously exaggerated; in particular the women are bimbos constantly parading around scantily dressed, and Ronnie masturbating jokes take up an uncomfortable amount of screen time. I get that the filmmakers are making a spoof of slasher movies, but I couldn’t care less who lived or died—I hated them all.
The plot is nonsensical. Characters die in ways that sort of have to do with King’s works, most of them from his least memorable short stories in the collection ‘Night Shift’. With all of the colorful ways King characters die, choices for demise include choking to death on sand and falling off a beam. Then there’s the plot point that the characters die whenever they’re being especially noisy, and it’s inferred but never explained that it’s because King likes it quiet. For some reason. Also, the relationship between the townspeople and King is never explored. And there’s the scene when Monroe and Hilary wonder why their grandparents have a Stephen King collection, but nothing comes of it.
When pressed for something nice to say, I can only grudgingly admit that the acting wasn’t terrible and the Maine accents on the minor characters sound pretty good. It made me smile a time or two. The scenery is pretty.
The premise is interesting, but it doesn’t make for an original movie. When the movie isn’t frustrating it’s boring—way too much screen time is spent on boating and water skiing. And you bet your ass Stephen King had nothing to do with it. Check it out if you’re in the mood for tits and frat-boy humor.