Hollywood Gothique
LA Cinema Gothique

Shriekfest 2007: Neatherbeast Incorporated & The Cellar Door

To my extreme regret, I was too busy with Halloween attractions this weekend (namely Halloween Hororr Nights and Knott’s Scary Farm) to get down to Hollywood for the annual Shriekfest Film Festival. Not to worry. Final Girl made the trip and tells us all about it here. After an afternoon of short subjects and a time out for an over-priced enchilada, she returned for two feature films:

  • The first, Netherbeast Incorporated, was…I don’t know. It’s vampires in an office. It was funny, but I wasn’t rolling around peeing my pants and clutching my sides. Well, I was peeing my pants, but that was because I was wasted, not because I was laughing. Anyway, everyone else was rolling around, so whatevs. Maybe I’m a tough customer when it comes to comedy, who knows. Or I was too drunk to get it.The last feature of the evening was The Cellar Door, an intense flick that puts a spin on the “Hooray, let’s torture women!” trend. If you’ve read Final Girl for any length of time, you might know that I’d rather buy 50 overpriced enchiladas than sit through something like Captivity- not that I’m still hung up on the overpriced enchilada or anything, but you get my point. The Cellar Door is different in that it focuses on the characters and their interactions- the relationship between the captive and the captor- more than trying to derive “thrills” from showing women being brutalized. The serial killer, Herman, doesn’t have an elaborate tunnel system underneath his house, and he hasn’t devised a series of traps- each more sinister than the last!- with which to victimize his prey; rather, he’s simply made a cage. Herman isn’t an over-the-top cuckoo nutso; he’s the guy next door. His house is located in an average suburban neighborhood, he shops at the dollar store, he drives an SUV, and he looks like the kind of guy you wouldn’t normally give a second thought to…and that’s what makes the cage in the basement so terrifying.