Every time a slasher flick comes out these days, it seems they take the same old route of simply being a ‘throwback.’ It is very rare to actually get a film that is truly attempting to stand on its own in the sub-genre that we’ve loved for so many years. Fortunately for fans of gruesome kills and fairly high body counts, Charlie’s Farm is the slasher we’ve been waiting for.
A group of four friends decide to take a trip to the whispered-about Charlie’s farm, a place where a cannibalistic family and their ‘special’ son lived some 30 years ago. It doesn’t take long for the group of youngsters to find out the stories are true and Charlie is still living on his family’s farm, ready to rip apart anyone that gets in his way.
Written, directed, and produced by Chris Sun, Charlie’s Farm isn’t trying to re-invent the wheel here. With all of the classic tropes in place, Sun has effectively managed to deliver a pure slasher film, one that I’ve been waiting for for a very long time, quite frankly. I have loved slasher films ever since I laid my eyes on the first Friday the 13th and there seems to be a true lack of genuine entries in the sub-genre over the past few years. Thankfully, Chris Sun has changed that with his Australian horror.
Right off the bat, I knew the quality of the film would be up to par with what I expect from a good horror film. The budget, which I’m assuming was very low, is not made evident because the overall production value of this project is very high; Everything looks great, while still keeping that grimy indie slasher feel.
Charlie’s Farm features a cast composed of some pretty impressive horror veterans and a few newcomers. I thought the main group of four did a great job throughout the entire film. Ironically, Tara Reid who arguably has the most on-screen experience of the bunch was my least favorite. I didn’t expect much from her, so it wasn’t a big shock, but still I would have hoped for a little bit more. Australian actor, Nathan Jones is a perfect choice for our brooding antagonist, Charlie, with his 6′ 11″ 360 pound frame. If the former pro-wrestler’s size wasn’t enough, the make-up effects artists did a beautiful job turning him into one ugly and frightening son-of-a-bitch. Finally, no horror film is complete without appearances from genre legends Bill Moseley and Kane Hodder!
In my opinion, the real attraction to Charlie’s Farm is the use of practical effects for all of the brutal on-screen deaths. I feel like indie films have really been stepping up their effects game recently and Sun’s flick is no exception. With the perfect blend of practical effects and CGI, all of the kill scenes throughout Charlie’s Farm‘s 93 minute runtime were splendid. While the film starts off strong with some gore thrown around in the first few minutes, it isn’t until about an hour later that the real killing begins. With only about 30 minutes left, however, the wait is well worth it. Sun made sure to write in some pretty original kills and horror fans everywhere will be pleased, I’m sure.
If you’re a slasher fan like yours truly, you definitely want to spend the time checking out Charlie’s Farm. Your patience will pay off in the end and you will be satiated by the time the final credits begin to roll. You can pick up a copy on DVD from Alchemy, available now.
I give this one 4 Donkey penises out of 5.