DIRECTOR: Griff Furst
Rachele Brooke Smith
Sara Catherine Bellamy
In the small Southern town of Babylon, Florida. A young lady named Margaret Larkin sets off on her bike into town and is killed by a masked killer on her return. Her body is drowned in the creek close to her house. When her corpse is discovered by a local fisherman, the police begin hunting for the killer. The dead never stays buried though and her killer begins being haunted by her vengeful spirit. The spirit plans on getting revenge for her brutal death.
Going into Cold Moon, I wasn't sure what to expect from this movie. I didn't witness the trailer before seeing the movie and was only going in knowing about the poster for the movie with the woman lying in water and the bike at the bottom of a creek. I imagined a murder mystery of some sort. Not knowing anything about this movie is probably what made this all the more enjoyable for me. Going in knowing nothing is probably your best bet with Cold Moon. Sure to surprise some horror fans.
When the movie opened and I saw the studio logo for Uncorked Entertainment pop up, I sighed. I expected an extremely low budget horror movie with no-name actors and terrible effects. I haven't had a great run with movies released by that company. So I was already expecting the worse and judging a movie before it has even started based on the people releasing it. It's the same with Midnight Releasing. I expect the worst from them. Probably not a great thing to do as a horror fan.
Based on the novel by the Michael McDowell who wrote Beetlejuice, Tales From The Darkside: The Movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Thinner. I started to let my guard down. A man who has written these four films wouldn't let me down if he was writing a dark southern horror film about a vengeful ghost who is haunting the person who killed it. I started to trust in this movie a bit more and wasn't so worried about who financed or released it. I hoped for something at least good.
Cold Moon is an interesting one. The movie has a lot of problems. I won't ever deny it. I hate to say this because there have been many a low budget horror movie that have done amazing things on a small budget. However, I think with a larger budget for Cold Moon, it may have helped the vision be realised a little bit more here. I think with this being written by the man who wrote Beetlejuice, there is a grander vision that sadly isn't fully realised. There are so many ghostly happenings here that the budget sadly doesn't accommodate.
The movie could have used a bigger budget for the visuals on display. With heads being ripped off by hand and ghosts bursting out the ground with snake-like bodies and Beetlejuice looking heads. I think they've gone the CGI route and not having the budget for great effects, a lot of the stuff on display here is really cheesy and poorly done. I think had they used practical effects, it would have been better than what they went with here. CGI really does kill a lot of the scenes in this film.
What Cold Moon gets right is that this movie never stops moving. Once Margaret is murdered, the movie is relentless. This is a fast-paced and frantic supernatural story. I also really enjoyed that the movie was able to successfully blend a ghost story with elements of a masked-killer and slasher movie. I don't think anyone will ever call Cold Moon boring and if they do, it's a lie. The film, for the most part, is a lot of fun, even if the visuals are silly and lend a lot of the set-pieces into more comedic territory.
While I don't think Cold Moon is all that scary. The movie on more than one occasion does try to build tension and suspense but I don't think it's always successful. I think that the film does have a few solidly loud jump scares that should scare unsuspecting audience members. As I said before, the movie is always moving so the film is always trying to scare the audience and at times, a few of the scares do land. I think that the Southern setting also adds to the eerieness.
Lastly, we come to the acting in the film. I wasn't expecting such a well-known cast going into this movie. Josh Stewart is playing against type from his Collector films and is the bad guy. I enjoyed his descent into madness. Candy Clark is emotionally distraught and never lets up. Her performance is filled with sorrow. Christopher Lloyd is sadly underused. Frank Whaley is decent as the town sheriff. Anyone hoping for a decent Tommy Wiseau cameo, don't expect much, it's a blink and miss it role.
DEATH TOLL: 5
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A woman is drowned in a river.
- A snake comes out of a dead girls mouth.
- A woman is stabbed in the stomach with a sword.
- A young man is decapitated by a sword.
- A woman is seen standing in a puddle of blood at the bank.
- A woman is hit in the head twice with a brick.
- A teenage boy has his head pulled off.
- A man's body is found in the river with his ear missing.
Cold Moon is a supernatural slasher that is sadly hindered by a low budget. A lot of the visual effects come across as cheesy due to an overabundance of CGI. Still, Cold Moon is an above average horror movie that is never once boring. The movie never stops moving from the first murder. We have a solid cast and the southern location only adds to the eerieness. You could do a lot worse than Cold Moon. A welcome surprise that I had originally passed off before even watching it.