Friday, October 2, 2015

Perkins' 14

1/4

Starring: Patrick O'Kane, Shayla Beesley, Mihaela Mihut, Richard Brake

Rated R for Graphic Bloody Violence, Terror, Language and Some Sexuality

A movie like "Perkins' 14" will make you appreciate the craftsmanship and the success of something like "The Descent" or even "Dawn of the Dead."  Horror movies that are made with skill are thoroughly involving and will send your nerves through the shredder.  Movies like "Perkins' 14," which can't even get on autopilot, are the pits.

Dwayne Hopper (O'Kane) is a local cop in the small town of Stone Cove, Maine.  His marriage to Janine (Mihut) is on the rocks, and his daughter Daisy (Beesley) has gone goth.  That's probably due to the fact that 10 years ago today, their son was kidnapped.  He was the last of 14 children to disappear from Stone Cove, and that has him on edge.  Tonight, however, brings in something strange.  A pharmacist named Ronald Perkins (Brake) has been arrested and is intent on playing mind games with Dwayne.  Dwayne becomes convinced that it was Perkins who kidnapped his son.  But that's only part of the story.

The first hour of this movie sucks.  The acting is like amateur hour at the local community theater, and director Craig Singer doesn't miss a cheesy, overused gimmick.  But as the film goes into its climax, it hits its stride.  It's not great art, but it's better than the crap that came before it.

Patrick O'Kane's performance is lacking; his best moments are when he doesn't speak, or when he's thinking about his son.  Shayla Beesley is obnoxious as his annoying daughter.  And not in a good way; I kept waiting for someone to kill her.  The one thing notable about Mihaela Mihut is that she suddenly grows an accent at the one-hour mark.  And Richard Brake tries to ape Anthony Hopkins' legendary performance as Hannibal Lecter, and fails miserably.

After Dark horror films are not known to be classics, but for what they are, they're dependable for 90 minutes of entertainment (titles include "The Abandoned," "Penny Dreadful" and "The Hamiltons").  But when compared to "Perkins' 14," they're bonafide masterpieces.

Trust me.  Don't bother.

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