In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Day Seven.

Rounding out this edition of April Showers is genre malcontent Adam Mason's newest endeavour, Hangman.

After the Millers come home from vacation to find they've been burgled, they go about their lives, not realizing their assailant never left.

For over a decade, Mason and his writing partner Simon Boyes have been carving out a niche steeped in unapologetic filmmaking. You never feel good after watching one of their movies, and maybe that's the point. Hangman continued this tradition, but it may also be Mason's most centered pieces to date. There's always been an element of chaos to Mason's work, but this was the first time I felt it was presented in a wholly realistic way.

Hangman feels very current, as components were ripped from real events, such as people who found others secretly living inside their walls and how burgulars rob the houses gleaned from the GPS's of vehicles left at airports. This stuff makes you reevaluate how safe you are in your own home. Also, with the leads being the recognizable faces of Jeremy Sisto and Kate Ashfield (Liz from Shaun of the Dead!), there was an immediate level of familiarity, as well.

I have give props to the Hangman himself, played by Erin Michael Cole. His demeanor was calculated, but still had that aforementioned chaotic quality. He had a plan, but was ready to go nuclear at any point. He was like a 21st century cross between Thomas Harris' Tooth Fairy and Billy from Black Christmas. He is someone who exists to disrupt and ultimately obliterate happy families. I must say that I was surprised to find that Mason was fairly restrained here, as perhaps he knew that the creep factor of his scenario was more effective than pervasive violence and torture.

Despite the use of hidden cameras to tell most of the story, it didn't feel like your average found footage film. Mason did dabble with this technique in his previous film Luster, but it was used much better here.

While Hangman was perhaps not as outwardly shocking as something like The Poughkeepsie Tapes, there was an element of the here-and-now that really worked in its favour. Obviously, this voyeuristic type of horror is not everyone's bag, but I'd say give it a go because it's really quite well executed. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go seal up the hatch to the attic.

So, that's it. Seven days, seven reviews. Hope you enjoyed the ride.

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