Monday, 11 February 2013

Crossbearer (2012)

Directed by Adam Ahlbrandt

Written by Ahlbrandt 

Stars:  Issac Williams, Natalie Jean, Victoria DePaul, Kacie Marie, Tim Cronin, Julia Campbell, J.D Brown, Shaun Paul Costello, Dawn Vaughn, Kelsey Lehman.

Release: DVD available HERE

Adversary Films bring us one of the darkest, nastiest slashers I have seen for some time. It truly is a grimy trip to hell and back and writer/director Adam Ahlbrandt should be commended for really going for it with the dark stuff.

The plot of the film involves broke stripper Heather. Heather is absolutely sick of her life; her job is soul destroying and her relationship with coke addled Victoria is leaving her desperate to get out - and fast. It turns out that Heather has a girlfriend on the side, Bunny, a girl she really wants to be with. The only way Heather can see to escape her miserable existence with Bunny is to double cross her arsehole/psychotic boss at work in order to have enough money to make her getaway. Safe to say that this is NOT going to go to plan because Heather and her friends she enlists to help her in her plans find themselves trapped in a dark and dingy factory - at the mercy of a murderous religious fantastic intent on ridding the earth of human filth. From here on the film descends into a blood drenched nightmare as our resident maniac begins using his ‘hammer of god’ to brutally dispatch those he deems not worthy of life.

I firstly have to say that if you like your horror light and fluffy with a few jump scares and some comic gore then Cross Bearer will most likely not be for you. A word of warning here folks as this film includes a plethora of dark stuff – heavy drug use, abuse, graphic sex and nudity and a lot of cringe inducing gore. If you think you can handle it then jump right in as this is very much a sharp, fast paced and well-made slasher film.

The acting in Cross Bearer really hit the mark for the most part. Aside from one or two weaker performances, the principal cast were really impressive. Natalie Jean as Heather and her deadbeat girlfriend Victoria (Victoria DePaul) in particular handled their meaty roles exceptionally and were people I came to care about despite (Ahem Victoria) their flaws. Isaac Williams was absolutely terrifying as the god fearing fruitcake who has taken it upon himself to do a little societal tidy up. You may think ‘well how much acting does a masked killer actually have to do in a film?’ but I must say the killers insane ranting and cruel taunting was really effective and creepy.

Adam and co have done a bang up job with Cross Bearer in presenting a well shot indie that impressively belies a low budget. I am impressed with both the aesthetics of the film and the blatant boundary pushing Adam has done in not prettying anything up. I am not a fan of drugs in the slightest (and obviously don’t agree with cold blooded murder either!) however I guess if you didn't see some of the drug use on display in this film, the impact of the characters would have been significantly lessened.

A really great job here and I look forward very much to their next effort The Cemetery – a gory tale of demonic possession…..

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