For anyone who has followed my reviews over the years, it is no secret that I used to dislike watching independent films. Since starting Repulsive Reviews, however, my appreciation for low-budget, do-it-yourself horror films has greatly increased. I actually look forward to watching a lot of the lesser known flicks by up-and-coming filmmakers quite a bit now. The latest one that I can scratch off my list is Stephen Patrick Kenny’s The Pigman Murders.
A group of friends head out for a hiking trip as a tribute to their friend on the one year anniversary of his death. After stumbling across a severely beaten man ranting about a murderer, the group is picked off one by one in a twisted game of cat and mouse.
While I don’t watch many found footage films anymore, I still think the sub-genre is an important one to filmmakers. When done correctly, directors and their crew can get away with a lot of stuff on a very small budget; the shaky cam and static-filled imagery can lend a hand in hiding flaws that otherwise may be seen when using tradition filming methods.
The Pigman Murders starts off rather strong. We are introduced to a group of friends who are gathering to remember their fallen buddy. The lot is made up of some talented young actors who very genuinely feel like a group of actual friends.
The on-screen chemistry feels very real, which goes a long way in a film of this nature. The more authentic a situation comes across, the more effective the found footage formula. For the first 45 minutes of the film, I couldn’t help but think I was watching a group of real-life friends who have known each other since grade school, not just a bunch of random actors.
You’ll notice I said the “first 45 minutes.” The problem with this setup is the fact that The Pigman Murders only runs about 71 minutes total. While the relationship between the actors is extremely realistic, that doesn’t do much in the way of making for an entertaining horror film.
It isn’t until the final 15 minutes or so that we feel any kind of true sense of terror. Even then, we aren’t treated to overly explicit kills or innovative death scenes. Instead, Kenny’s The Pigman Murders presents its audience with a man, or two, wearing a pig mask, running up behind the next victim, stabbing a few times, and then running away. It is almost as if we are witnessing a more severe game of tag.
Originally titled Somebody’s There, this one had the potential to by a very entertaining hybrid of found footage survival film and slasher flick. Unfortunately, that potential never even comes close to being realized, as there is more footage of old pals reminiscing or fighting each other than that of of any real violence or death.
The acting throughout is very well done, but this film is rather slow and uneventful. I am glad to have given it a watch, but certainly will not being watching it again in the future.
If you have the home release of The Pigman Murders from Wild Eye Releasing, let me know your thoughts. Did you like it more than I did or am I spot on?
I give this one a low score of 1.5 guys covered in blood out of 5.