Movie Review: Cold Moon is a Deft Blend of Southern Gothic and Slasher

 

What could go wrong here I ask ya: Young Margaret goes riding pell mell on her bicycle all around the small Southern town she calls home. Her grandmother (who I will get back to the deeper we go into this revoltin’ review) begins to engage in a near cataclysmic level of frettin’ which lets us know that things are going to take a turn for the lousy AF with utmost quickness. Not convinced enough? How about that foreboding wind and rain that suddenly roll on in? Or how about that murder machine of a man (who drives a hearse because ‘subtle’ is his middle name) that chucks Margaret of a bridge after strangling her. Well, I guess that last one is more like the actual deed than any sort of foreshadowing, but you know what I mean…

Anyway, Margaret’s body is fished out of the water and we learn she was knocked up six ways to Sunday when she met her soggy end. Now the game is afoot to figure out who’d want a preggo teeny bopper all murderized. Could it be her brother Jerry? Gross. Could it be the town sociopath who’s chief occupation seems to be rough sex with a side of violent threats? Probably too easy. How about the school teacher that high tails it out of town the second the news is revealed that ol’ M-dawg is missing? Or could it be Tommy Wiseau? Lord, I hope so…and yes, he turns up in this flick to fondle some snakes…yeah…I wouldn’t tell you anyhow, but I will tell you that the police do such a bang up job of solving the case that Margaret rises from the grave to take matters into her own cold, clammy hands.

So what works in good ol’ Cold Moon? For starters the film is dripping with Southern Gothic atmosphere, and that’s a genre that isn’t dipped into too much these days…plus it spices things up with an ’80’s stalk and slay picture vibe as well as full on supernatural goings-on (replete with levitating coffins that explode, snake monsters, and ghosts). The contrasting tones work surprisingly well together, and the fact that the flick kills off characters you’d never expect it too is a real plus. Adding to the solidness of this one is some fine acting (for the most part), with great turns from Christopher Lloyd as a salty sumbitch, and Frank Whaley as a world weary, small town sheriff dealing with a situation he seems in no mood to deal with. Bringing up the ass end of the positives, I also liked the design of our sinister slasher, but there is a major negative with that cat as well, which brings us to…

The identity of the killer in this flick is so freakin’ obvious that it almost boarders on parody. I mean they try to add some layers to it, but at the end of the day it’s like zero F’s were given. Also speaking of negatives, the grandmother character’s hysterics and hand wringing drove me completely crazy…she really needed to tone things down a smidge…and by a smidge I mean a veritable s-ton.

All in all, Cold Moon is a fun fright flick; it’s got your ghosts n’ ghouls, your slash ’em up elements, and a nice helping of atmosphere…it may stumble here and there, but ultimately it’s a winner!

For more on Cold Moon head here.

 

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