I wonder what goes through a teenagers’ mind when choosing a location for tooling around with their friends nowadays. Do they: A) Go hang out at the nice, safe shopping mall food court and maybe check out what’s new at the GAP? or B) Do some drugs and consume some alcohol at the abandoned asylum at the top of the hill that is clearly haunted by tortured spirits? Any fan of horror knows the answer is clearly the latter, and that is exactly the same choice the next batch of meat bags chose in 2015’s Exeter. It’s basically about a bunch of kids who decide to imbibe a ridiculous amount of illegal substances in possibly the worst place ever to have a party, a site where there is a lot of sharp glass and rusty metal hanging around, and every object laying about could be used as a weapon. The privileged youngsters end up messing with a power that they can not comprehend and what you get is a pretty standard and predictable flow of events.
Directed by Marcus Nispel, Exeter follows a group of millennial douche bag tropes as they make just about every clichÃƒ© horror mistake. Nispel is known for racistly portraying Vikings in a negative light in (2007) and the Jessica Biel ‘wet t-shirt movie’ of 2003. This year he returns to show us yet again what he hates the most… clothes.
This film stars a handful of your typical attractive 20 somethings with little or no acting chops and tries to make up for its lack of decent actors by throwing just about every kind of horror plot at us. It has just about everything you can think of; Ouija boards, the light as a feather trick, exorcisms, evil spirits, haunted asylum and mayhem. The only part they left out of the story is that they don’t have a black friend to kill off first before any harm comes to the middle class white kids. However, nothing can prepare you for the awesomeness that is Kevin Chapman‘s hair.
Aside from Chapman’s glorious 80’s Buttrock mane, the one saving grace of this wonderfully awful film is its unabashed gore. The blood and guts in Exeter is what won me over in the end. So many films these days surrender to digital splatters and split up CGI body parts, but Nispel’s latest effort goes back to the roots of horror special effects (with the exception of one kill which would be pretty difficult to do without some help). It was the right about of injury and pain without it being gratuitous, like a medium rare steak, it was red in the middle, but still retains its flavor. Just the way I like it.
Exeter is not going to win any Oscars, but its nastiness makes up for what it lacks. At the end of the day, that is all we really want. We have something in our genetics that is left over from the Roman gladiatorial spectator, an ancient monster inside us that feeds on violence and brutality. It is the one thing that modern movie critics do not understand about us, and they give a film a low score on Rotten Tomatoes. We love the bad acting and the terrible plot, and all can be forgiven so long as they feed the monster. Exeter does just that.
Born and raised in San Diego California, I grew up loving the action horror and sci-fi genres. The first R rated film I saw was Predator back when I was 8 years old. Aliens blew me away as a youngster and I made a M41-A pulse rifle out of paper towel rolls and rubber bands. I ran around for hours avoiding face huggers and blasting xenomorphs in my back yard and I am bringing that big imagination to Nevermore Horror.