Review: Face Crusher 2

Written and directed by Luke St. Germaine, Sharon hears something in her backyard and calls Everett for support – instead, she learns about the gruesome tale of the ‘Face Crusher’. Starring: Linsey Wood, Erik Rodenhiser, Gabe Flavin, Nate Cullinan, Frank Tenaglia, Michaela Hillier and Jay Connolly.

A key quality which can make or break horror flicks is being self-aware, if you’re going for something that’s a little outlandish or absurd, if you take yourself too seriously, it will never work. Luke St. Germaine feels aware of that with Face Crusher 2, its style feels like a homage to B-movie slashers of the 80s and 90s. There’s a home-movie, very indie feel to the visual, which again works to push the film’s sense of fun. The atmosphere is draped in the classic air of impending death, akin to Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street, you know someone’s getting killed sooner or later and in a messy manner. St. Germaine also has a good handle on making those moments satisfying, they should be over the top and gruesome, but at the same time there’s a clever decision to not rely too much on effects.

Linsey Wood as Sharon brings us a typical slasher character, she’s bubbly and energetic but quick to turn fearful and suspicious at the first sign of danger. Then Erik Rodenhiser gives us the friend that’s reassuring but has a scary tale in his back pocket to accidentally enhance the fear. It’s also a great element to have characters obsessed with horror films or local true crime, it’s a staple for good reason. On top of which you have the casual observers played by Nate Cullinan and Frank Tenaglia, who help deliver just the right level of reaction to keep that fun, easy-going atmosphere going.

The story feels extremely familiar, it’s following the tried and tested formula of horror and that’s not to its disadvantage, it’s a recipe which always works. The opening might throw viewers off a touch with using a fairly heavy score which feels a touch distracting. It doesn’t quite establish itself until a little further in which is a shame not to use that time for more carnage. However, it speaks to the experience that the story creates, that it can be entirely familiar and you can know where it’s going, but it doesn’t impact your enjoyment at all.

Face Crusher 2 is a fun, violent five-minutes with a strong indie spirit. It feels as though it pays homage to the classic slasher films we know and love. It ticks all the boxes and plays to its strengths, not relying too heavily on effects and holding a personality that’s self-aware and playful. It packs everything you normally get from a feature into a small, satisfying package.

Verdict: ✯✯✯½ | 7/10

Make your own verdict by watching Face Crusher 2 below!

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