LITTLE ERIN MERRYWEATHER (2003)
(Clicking the highlighted links brings you to corresponding reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)
Little Erin Merryweather is a very low budget thriller, but if you can get past some amateurish acting and some awkward dialogue, there is actually a really nice effort here and it does have some chills. Story finds a serial killer stalking a college campus. She wears a red cloak and hood, right out of the classic fairy tale. And like in Little Red Riding Hood, the vicious killer slices open the belly of her victims and fills them with stones as the huntsman did the wolf in the Brothers Grimm tale. A reporter from the school paper, Peter (David Morwick) attempts to track down the killer with the help of a professor (Elizabeth Callahan), while finding a possible romantic interest with shy and odd campus librarian, Erin Merryweather (Vigdis Anholt). Unknown to Peter, these two pursuits may dangerously collide.
Serial killer flick is written and directed by leading man Morwick and he actually shows some potential with this low budget thriller. There are some nice touches utilizing some hand panted images and some Argento-ish edits using a creepy looking doll and Morwick does know how to frame a shot. There are also some chilling moments and some suspense, even though we have little doubt who our killer is going to turn out to be. The reveal is effective though, as are the reasons and triggers to the killer’s actions. The mixing in of fairy tale elements also works very well and adds some atmosphere to the proceedings. The thing that really weakens this flick, is that there is some shaky dialogue and the acting ranges from amateurish to just bad, like Frank Ridley as a local cop who’s character seems too thickheaded to be effective, even on a small town police force. The score by Paul Cristo also overdoes it here and there, but is also still effective in other spots. The film does have some creepy moments and despite only moderate bloodletting, the killings do have an edge.
I liked this little flick. Sure, it has it’s flaws and the acting leaves much to be desired, but Morwick shows potential and he does create some atmosphere and chills. We may be fairly certain early on who our killer may be, but Morwick adds enough cinematic touches to keep us interested till the reveal we all know is coming…and it still works. A nice example of a filmmaker with some interesting potential overcoming budget and talent limitations to make an entertaining and somewhat chilling little movie. Worth a look, but be forgiving.