Monday, April 14, 2014

Campfire Tales

Watched April 1, 2014

Starring: Jay R. Ferguson, Christine Taylor, Christopher Masterson, Kim Murphy, Amy Smart, James Marsden, Ron Livingston, Jennifer MacDonald, Alec McKenna, Devon Odessa.

I don't typically like anthology horror movies because they are usually poorly interconnected. I picked up this on VHS recently, I had never heard of it but the synopsis reminded me of Urban Legend and it's packed with lots of actors that have gone onto bigger and better things so it seemed like it would be fun.

Parked at make-out point, Jenny (Amy Smart) and Eddie (James Marsden) are two kids in the 1950s making the most of being alone in a car together. Jenny is having fun but doesn't want to go all the way, frustrated Eddie gets mad but they hear something strange. The radio announces that there have been several murders committed by a man with a hook for a hand and he's still on the loose. They both get scared and hightail it out of there. They end up at the drive-in diner, Eddie gets out to order some, he looks back at the car and sees a hook with part of the arm ripped off stuck in the passenger door. They only barely escaped!

Jump to current day, four teenagers are driving back from a concert on a very windy road. They veer off and crash on the side of the road. They light some road flares but since they are so far away from anyone they walk into the woods and start a campfire. To pass the time, Cliff (Jay R. Ferguson) freaks out the group with some scary stories.

Rick (Ron Livingston) and Valerie (Jennifer MacDonald) are newlyweds from Long Island. They've rented an RV and are cruising across the US for the honeymoon. Rick wants to stop at a spot where supposedly a bunch of people had to resort to cannibalism a long time ago. It gets dark so they pull over to stop for the night. A man (Hawthorne James) knocks on their door, he has a shotgun so they freak out but he's just there to warn them to move on and get out of there, there's something a that comes out at night. Rick drives a little further but then they run out of gas by a lake. He heads out to get some gas and leaves Valerie to listen to her Discman and read magazines. Valerie is startled by some aggressive banging on the door, she doesn't open it but she can't see what is there. Through the skylight lunges some crazy man who is trying to murder her. She manages to keep the man out of the van and pulls some sort of attack alarm that scares the man away. She curls up in a fetal position and is awoken the next morning by a county sheriff. He leads her away from the RV, trying to keep her eyes forward but she sees in the rear view mirror her husband mauled and hung above the RV, his wedding ring scraping against the roof of the RV.

I'm not sure why Cliff is bent on scaring his friends, as they just were in a horrific car accident but he continues with his second tale.

Amanda (Alex McKenna) comes home from soccer practice on the eve of her 12th birthday. She really wants a bicycle and she reminds her parents as they head out to date of her request. Her older teen aged sister Katherine (Devon Odessa) is supposed to babysit her tonight but she goes to a party. Amanda chatted online with her school friend and let her know she would be alone that night, but in typical internet fashion, it wasn't her school friend, it was a gross old perverted man who has been watching Amanda. I'm not going to ruin the end of the tale as it really freaked me out.

One of the other teens, Alex (Kim Murphy) is sick of Cliff scaring everyone with his stories so she shares her own scary story.

Scott ( Glenn Quinn) is off on his own journey cruising across American on his motorcycle when it breaks down and starts pouring rain. He's out in the country so he runs to nearest farmhouse. He bangs on the door but it takes awhile for someone to come to the door. Heather (Jacinda Barrett) comes to the door but she is mute. The farmhouse looks likes it's from the 1880's, all the light is from candles or oil lamps and they have a wood burning stove. Even though she can't talk Heather does some terrible pantomime even though she does have a slate to write on. Scott and Heather quickly fall in love but are plagued by the ghost of Heather's father. Scott walks into rooms covered in blood, but a moment later they are clean again. Freaked out her grabs Heather and runs away with her. I thought his motorcycle was broken but someone they get away. The next day we see them resting under a tree. For some stupid reason Scott takes off the ribbon choker that Heather has been wearing, she regains the ability to speak for a moment before her head falls off.

The wrap up for the teens was a nice surprise, at least to me, so I won't ruin it either. Maybe I was just feeling super open to the story but I liked it a lot and I had forgotten a lot of these common scary stories enough to be surprised by most of them. I only remembered the girl with the ribbon around her neck so I knew what was coming with that one. The story with the 12 year old girl was terrifying for many reasons, at the time internet predators was a new concept but it still resonates and is a great way to update an old story. The Long Island newlyweds have some terrible accents along with some gross sex but if you want to see Ron Livingston's butt, check out this movie.

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