Film Review: Uneven werewolf thriller 'Bonehill Road' delivers old-school scares
(EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS IS A REVIEW OF A SCREENER VERSION OF THIS FILM)
This low budget werewolf film from Wild Eye Releasing tries gamely and even introduces a nifty twist to the sub-genre. The main characters are trapped in the woods with a pack of werewolves and no access to silver -- the one thing that can harm a werewolf, of course (the precious mineral is not even mentioned).
The characters are not concerned with vanquishing the monsters but just getting out alive.
Unfortunately, the resulting film is wildly uneven and at times embarrassingly amateurish.
Filmmaker Todd Sheets gets credit for using old-school special effects rather than CGI. He also makes an earnest attempt to build atmosphere in places.
The plot concerns a woman (Eli DeGeer) fleeing a physically abusive relationship with her daughter (Ana Plumberg) in tow. They wind up stranded in the woods while on their way to her father's house after a werewolf slashes their tires. The opportunity to turn this into a gender reversal of Little Red Riding Hood is largely squandered.
The pair seek refuge in a house that is revealed to be the abode of a serial killer and his kidnapped victims (80s' "scream queen" Linnea Quigley turns up as a victim). Brutality against women and forced cannibalism ensue before the werewolves show up to attack everyone (this is NOT a family film).
Sheets directs energetically but at times haphazardly.
The story has immense potential that is only partly tapped. The subplot involving the human villain starts off well but degenerates into pure sleaze. The filmmakers seem to attempt drawing parallels between the situation the women escaped and the maniac's antics.
The acting run the gamut. The leads are excellent while the other performances vary in quality -- one performance was so wooden that stating the actor phoned it in is an insult to Ma Bell.
Fans of old-school splatter films will enjoy the film's approach.