Happy Spring! You know what this time of year reminds me of? Reanimation! That’s right, zombies. Flowers are everywhere and flowers bring people with pesticides trying to rid the world of bees and pesky insects, unfortunately, to the peril of the rest of the world. So, our theme this month is zombie spring. We’re almost to the halfway point til Halloween. Look alive and watch your step in graveyards.
After missing my own self-imposed deadlines in January and February, where I was to present a movie review for the month, I am determined not to miss March! Thus, I decided to triple down and do three movie reviews in celebration of our legendary creatures theme.
The truth is, earlier this March, I watched Dawn of the Beast, but it was only when I started writing the review did I realize the movie was actually the third cryptid monster film, following Monstrous and The Retreat, all directed by Bruce Wemple. Naturally, I had to watch the other two films.
Armed with a great love for campy horror films and his trusty cast of relative unknowns, New York director Bruce Wemple creates fresh horror that makes the socially conscious Gen Z crowd proud. All boxes checked. Wemple knows all the horror tropes, and these films felt like proper indie horror movies. There was decent acting, strong female characters, and lots of action. The camerawork makes good use of those shadows, close-up shots, and practical effects to perpetuate the scares and despite the low budget, the production quality was pretty good. I was even forgiving of the few man-in-a-monster-suit shots, which were super cheesy, but hey look, considering the third film was entirely developed during the pandemic, all of us should be impressed by that. I’ll be honest, I never gave much thought to Adirondack mountains before watching these films, and whatever location Wemple chose to shoot on location is some damn beautiful country. If I wasn’t so scared of the real Wendigo, I’d run out and buy a Winnebago.
There’s a lot of good psychological horror here too, especially in the second film, The Retreat. The biggest flaw of this cryptid trilogy was the films suffered from having too much story. I guess having too much story is better than having no story, right? It’s just these long drawn out or overly heavy exposition scenes take away our monster time, and when you make a feature film starring these two legendary creatures, you have got to have more monster!!
I should also mention upfront, each of these movies is stand-alone. You’ll understand each of them on their own just fine, but movie marathons are so much more fun.
March is the month dedicated to legendary creatures, from leprechauns to fairies, the Dullahan to selkies, these legends, myths, and stories touch upon almost every aspect of our lives, as we draw strength, belief, love, and courage from these mystical beings.
As we look ahead towards a hopeful March, we long for love, laughter, and simpler times. In the day, mankind thrives, but mischievous creatures still rule the night. This month’s theme is Legendary Creatures.
mushroom ring appears loving homes bring warm laughter fairy villages