For most horror fans, there is nothing more exciting than finding new films in your favorite sub-genre. A lot of hardcore collectors and film viewers probably feel like they’ve “seen it all” already, so the promise of a new experience from a new filmmaker is always intriguing. Unfortunately, there are times when some films are better left undiscovered. That just so happens to be the case with Joe Lujan’s Rust.
After Heather barely escapes an abandoned haunted house attraction with her life, she is forced to return to the scene to rescue her friend. Along with a team of police officers, it is up to Heather to aide in putting an end to the 20 year killing spree of the masked killer, Travis Mclellan.
Like my last review suggests, one of my favorite sub-genres of all is the slasher flick. When done right, slashers are not only entertaining but also downright frightening. When these films fall short, however, there is really not much fun to be had.
Rust has a lot of promise but seems to fall flat in a lot of areas. More often than not, low budget films suffer from weak acting performances, poor special effects, etc. Not only does Lujan’s film exhibit some of these traits, it also lacks in other areas, as well.
Strange cinematography choices make it extremely difficult to stay enveloped in the story unfolding. Random speed changes, whether they be poorly placed slowed down movements or shoddy speed increases, come off awkward and offer no real emphasis on the scene they are applied to. I’m not sure if the slowed down shots are supposed to invoke more fear or have some other similar effect, but it just seems out of place during the film’s 1 hour and 43 minute duration.
Dark hallways and other tight spaces within the haunted house attraction, Hotel Fear, make it extremely difficult to see everything. Additionally, drawn out scenes of seemingly endless screaming are very uncomfortable to endure. I’m sure this is due to budgetary restraints, but this poor sound design happens more than once in this 2015 horror film.
Rust most certainly falls into the weaker side of what the slasher sub-genre has to offer. Lackluster acting, a script that seems to repeat itself more than it needs to, muffled dialog (which even subtitles only pick up as “indistinct chatter”), and an obnoxiously obvious wig for main actress Corey Taylor are just some of the reasons why you can pass up on this one.
If you are, for any reason, still interested in checking this one out for yourself, you can pick up a copy on DVD from Wild Eye Releasing today. Included on the home release are three cuts of the film, including the original 38 minute short from 2014, a 75 minute cut from 2015, and of course, the final, full-length 103 minute version.
I give Rust a final rating of 1 haunted house killer out of 5.