I received this screener for “OMG… We’re in a Horror Movie” on behalf of Leomark Studios.
This is a departure from what I usually do as this was a small independent horror/comedy film sent to me through Gameitall.com. The basic premise is as follows: seven young friends are playing a board game (Settlers of Catan in this case) until one of the guys, Kyle (who is quite… odd), lands the dice on a certain number combination, which causes their lives to be turned into a horror movie. They spend most of the time figuring out which horror stereotype they are from ‘female lead’ to ‘black guy’ to ‘handsome male’ while also trying to figure out who is behind all the murders.
I should preface this part of the review by saying that I am a huge horror film fan. Whether it’s a cheap slasher from the 80s or a masterful horror film like Nosferatu, I love each and every one of them in their own special way. Horror parodies can go either way on the quality scale as they can be mostly successful like a couple of films in the Scary Movie franchise or they can be complete duds like Scream If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th (Tom Arnold and Tiffany Thiessen… enough said). I went into this with careful anticipation and I have to say that I was quite impressed by a number of things in the film.
The premise is quite clever and it hasn’t really been done quite this way in any films I’ve seen before. If you’re expecting cheap parody-esque jokes with pooping and farting, they are pretty much non-existent here. The film is full of clever jokes found in the writing of the film that play on the expectations of a typical horror (and slasher, specifically) film. One example is Jesse (played by Sharon Mae Wang), who gets applause from the rest of the friends for being the first Asian female character in an American slasher (that they can remember) and then this is revisited again later in the scene to humourous results. Another is where the character of Tom (played with egomaniacal hilarity by Brendan McGowan) convinces Jesse that in order to ensure her survival, she should have sex with him to solidify her status as lead female. The problem: she’s a lesbian and wants nothing to do with him.
Another strength in this movie is the acting. All of the actors in the film find their own niche and prove to have some solid comic timing. Ajala Bandele (who also co-wrote/directed the film) and Chris Hampton play the two black male characters, who decide to run off and try to be in a different movie so they don’t die as per the horror stereotype. These two are very funny together and their antics including dressing up in white face and attempting to turn their scenes into an Oscar Wilde play are wildly funny. Tanya (Shanna Malcolm) is the black female character and there are also some amusing moments from her regarding stereotypes. Kyle (Nils Jansson) is wonderfully creepy and over-the-top, Amy (Liz Fenning) pulls off being sexy and terrifying at the same time, Tom (McGowan) I already mentioned, and Jesse (Wang) goes from a worried character to a lunatic at times with hilarious results (the scene in the car had me in stitches, particularly with the cameo from a certain film crewmember).
The film is also remarkably well-shot for a movie with such a small budget and they didn’t even have to go that far with the blood and gore unlike most movies of its ilk that go ridiculously over-the-top.
I was very impressed with the aesthetics of the film, the acting, the writing, and the comic timing of the actors involved. A very enjoyable indie film.
* (Brutal; the worst rating)
** (Some elements keep it from being awful but still not very good)
*** (Completely watchable; a rental as old-timers might say)
**** (Great film with a few things here and there keeping it from being perfect)
***** (Flawless; a true achievement)