No matter how many times I may stray, I always find my way back to the slasher sub-genre. While I love all things horror, from werewolves to aliens, the slashers are the ones I have the most fun with it. Today’s journey into slasher territory was a new one for me, Daniel Liatowitsch and David Todd Ocvirk’s Kolobos.
A group of young strangers answer a casting call for a new social experiment. They are to live in a house that is full of cameras and have their lives taped. Shortly after arriving, however, the new acquaintances start getting murdered one by one.
It seems like there is an endless amount of films in this sub-genre that I’ve never even heard of. The most odd thing about it this time is the year in which this it was released. While I was only 12 years old in 1999 and wasn’t in my horror-loving phase quite yet, I have returned to the films of that decade many times since. Kolobos was never once mentioned.
By 1999, the first two Scream films had already been released to genre fans, as well as I Know What You Did Last Summer and a ton of other 90’s slasher fare. The decade isn’t quite as memorable as the golden age of the 80’s, but it definitely holds a special place in the hearts of many horror fanatics around the world.
While those films all seemed to follow a cookie-cutter formula, Kolobos managed to do a few things to separate itself from the pack. It does still of course feature a group of attractive young actors to round out the cast of characters — the chauvinistic horn-dog, the self-absorbed actress, the party girl, etc. What it does with those characters is the impressive part.
Kolobos is ahead of its time in many ways. The reality TV scenario has been done many times since, but I’m not sure anything like that had been featured in a horror film just yet. Additionally, the house isn’t your every day abode. Without giving too much away, the house is booby-trapped with all sorts of deadly contraptions, a la Saw or The Collector.
Kolobos has many strengths; the score is effective and the practical special effects are very impressive. I was pleasantly surprised by the methods of killing and love that there is zero CGI to be found throughout the film’s 87 minute runtime.
Unfortunately, there seems to be too much going on at times. The hallucinations and illusions experienced by Kyra (Amy Weber, one time WWE wrestler) muddle the story and get rather annoying. The final 10 minutes of the film make things even worse with its lack of clarity and I kind of just wished it would end already.
Arrow Video is releasing this long-lost slasher to the masses on Tuesday, March 12. The Blu-ray release will include interviews with the cast, behind the scenes featurettes, and more. Be sure to pick up a copy for yourself and keep that slasher collection growing.
I give this one 2.5 macabre illustrations out of 5.