Friday, October 14, 2022

The Axe Murders of Villisca (2016) starring Alex Frnka, Robert Adamson, Jarrett Sleeper

“We’re ghost hunters! We hunt ghosts!”

In June 1912, eight people were brutally murdered in the Moore family home located in Villisca, Iowa. Six family members and two houseguests were bludgeoned with an axe by an unknown assailant, and despite many suspects (one of whom confessed and was tried—twice!) the crime remains unsolved. 

Fast forward to 2016 when Denny (Jarrett Sleeper), his pal Caleb (Robert Adamson), and Jess (Alex Frnka, the new girl at school who got filmed sleeping with Connor the homophobic jock a-hole) decide to celebrate Caleb’s last night in town with some paranormal exploration at the Moore House, now a tourist attraction played by the funeral home from PHANTASM 2. 

After a tour of the house conducted by Greg (Jon Gries/Uncle Rico from NAPOLEAN DYNAMITE), the trio break in after hours and, well, spooky stuff happens. The three confront past demons, Connor and his dumb buddy show up, and we’re treated to many scenes of Rev. Kelly (Sean Whalen from ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE and LAID TO REST among many others) whack, whack, whacking his way through the house. 

Unfortunately, the glacier-like pacing makes the flick’s 78-minute running time feel like two hours and so little attention is paid to character development that we feel nothing for Denny, Caleb and Jess before they’re thrown together—in other words, it’s hard to care what happens to them. Flashbacks to their pasts are murky at best and the ending left my daughter and I both going “Huh? Wha?”.

The leads are likable—despite looking too old for their parts—and there’s plenty of creepy imagery but this is not recommended unless you’re having trouble sleeping. – Dan Taylor

Dan Taylor is the editor/publisher of Exploitation Retrospect and The Hungover Gourmet. He is thrilled that his teenage daughter is now enthusiastic about watching trashy horror flicks.

No comments: