DEAD SHACK (2017)
Horror/comedy finds a dysfunctional family heading up to a remote house in the woods for some vacation time. Divorced dad Roger (Donavon Stinson) is bringing his daughter Summer (Lizzie Boys), son Colin (Gabriel LaBelle), Colin’s friend Jason (Matthew Nelson-Mahood) and Roger’s latest younger woman conquest Lisa (Valerie Tian from Juno and Jennifer’s Body) together for what he hopes is some bonding time. If trying to get along isn’t hard enough for this bunch, they cross paths with a mysterious neighbor (Lauren Holly), who has a very deadly secret in her house…one the nosey kids unfortunately let loose.
Canadian flick is directed by Peter Ricq from his script with Phil Ivanusic and Davila LeBlanc. As such it’s a bit of an uneven mix as it starts out more comedic and then gets very gory and violent in it’s last act. It’s amusing enough and the gore is well done, but some of the characters, especially drunken, man-child Roger, are very grating and we never get a clear enough explanation as to why the neighbor’s “family” are in the state they are in. Not that we really need much of one, as the bloody hi-jinx are the point here. Lizzie Boys does make a cute and perky heroine, Holly an appropriate villain and the film moves along quickly, so, at 85 minutes long, there isn’t too much time to think about how silly it all is. A moderately entertaining movie currently streaming on Shudder.