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Clear Lake, WI

USA 2009
produced by
Brian Ide, Morgan Simpson, Will Wallace, Dean 'Sundance' Bonham (executive), Dustin Booth (executive), Lil' Joe CEO (executive), Raymond Chan (executive), Charlie Poe (executive), Craig Syracusa (executive) for Liberty Road Entertainment
directed by Brian Ide
starring Dustin Booth, Morgan Simpson, Grinnell Morris, Shi Ne Nielson, Carla Toutz, Heather Simpson, Michael Madsen, Paul Ben-Victor, Audrey Wasilewski, Carson Anne, Anna Klein, Noah Longo
written by Geoff Bullens, Morgan Simpson, music by Aashish Pathak, special effects makeup by Joseph Mistretta

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Documentary filmmaker Kyra (Shi Ne Nielson) is doing a movie on a reverend turned cult leader turned killer (Michael Madsen) who has killed several inhabitants of his hometown by poisoning the water supply. The reverend of course has long been executed, but four members of his inner circle have survived, and two of them, Sam (Grinnell Morris) and Mike (Morgan Simpson) have since become pretty normal guys who do the best to deal with their troubled past, while Beth (Carla Toutz) has become a strung out slut, and Reed (Dustin Booth) seems to have emerged unfazed by everything that has been happening all those years ago.

Kyra takes them all back to their village where everything has happened all those years ago, and that has since turned into a ghost town. In the village, she plans to shoot her documentary by interviewing the guys in all the original places - but soon enough it turns out that there is something weird going on here. Kyra at first blames everything on the imagination of her four companions, which is bound to be extraordinarily alert at the place of their ordeal. It's ironic then that Kyra is the first one who ends up dead, killed. Soon, the others turn up dead one by one, too, and before you know it, Mike seems to be the sole survivor - when he's knocked out, and when he wakes up he's tied to a stake and ready to be burned by none other than Reed who at one point was his best friend. Turns out Reed has always followed the reverend's path, has continued his (evil) work, and now he has killed all those who wanted to expose the reverend's operations, all but Mike ... who somehow manages to free himself and beat Reed to a pulp subsequently, this way saving himself.

Reed however is not one to be put down too easily, and the next day he shows up in Kyra's office where he charms her assistant (Audrey Wasilewski) and steals a file containing Mike's home address from Kyra's computer ...


For the most part, this is a pretty good movie, competently telling a mystery without ever giving too much away carried by a capable ensemble cast. And there's plenty of tension and suspense in this one too, even if the first murder doesn't actually happen until late in the film. In the finale though, the film falls apart when it all of a sudden follows the typical slasher formula, pulls a killer out of the hat rather than giving its solution a narrative background, and everything is of course decided in a fistfight - like ever so often in an US-American film. And there's no good reason that the killer survives, either, it just follows genre logic instead of the plot's narrative logic.

Still, this is a rather interesting genre movie, just too bad so little effort was put into finding a good finale for it ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD