THE FURIES (2019)
The Furies is a derivative, but intense horror flick that is basically Battle Royale meets…well, pick any slasher. After having an argument with her friend Maddie (Ebony Vagulans), Kayla (Airlie Dodds) and Maddie are kidnapped. Kayla wakes up in a box in the middle of some remote woods and soon finds some very disturbing facts. First of all, she’s not the only woman abducted and deposited here, second, they are also being hunted by a group of armed, masked killers. Now the meek Kayla must learn to fight for her life, as she searches for Maddie, all the while trying to survive her relentless pursuers.
Tony D’Aquino writes and directs this Australian mash-up of flicks we’ve seen before, but does so well. The film can be intense at times and the attack/fight sequences can be quite brutal and vicious. There is a lot of very well rendered gore, as body parts and blood on both sides are spilled quite frequently. There are some clever additions to the ideas D’Aquino has borrowed, such as each girl…or “beauty”…has a corresponding killer…or “beast”. When a beauty is killed, her corresponding beast’s head explodes, literally. This sets up an interesting angle as beasts must protect their corresponding beauties to survive and beauties must protect their beasts to protect them from the other killers. This sets beast against beast and beauty against beauty at times. It changes the game up a bit. We don’t know much about who or what has set this game of horrors up. We see brief glimpses of a surgical procedure as devices are attached to the participants eyes, so whoever’s watching can see it from a POV perspective. We also get a dark glimpse of some sort of control room. It is only in the last scenes where we get some of the answers to our questions, though the movie looses some momentum when the film switches gears for the reveals…and we’ve seen that all before as well. The killers are effective, although they are simply large men in grotesque masks with sharp objects and they never speak. Are they kidnapped maniacs, or something? Who knows? The girls are alright, but with all the running and carnage, we don’t get to learn too much about them before they are killer fodder. The small cast are all fine with Airlie Dodds making a decent final girl as Kayla, with Linda Ngo as Rose being the only other girl getting any significant screen time. The real star here is Larry Van Duynhoven, whose prosthetic make-up and gore are a sight to behold, even to the most jaded horror fan.
Overall, this flick is far from original, but it an entertaining mash-up of recycled ideas with a few fun twists thrown in. Tony D’Aquino keeps things moving at a fast and furious pace, with the blood spattering quite frequently and thus little time for us to ask too many questions till it’s over. Sure we’ve seen it all before, from masked killers to folks hunted for sport and entertainment, but the gore effects are worth watching it for alone and there are some brutal and intense fight sequences to keep us munching our popcorn for the economical 82 minutes it lasts. Blood-soaked flick is available on Shudder.
Rated 3 (out of 4) axes.