The Culling (2015) | This indie horror hodgepodge tries your patience
‘When the devil breeds… a new evil is born’
After finding a little girl called Lucy (Harley Graham) stranded outside a closed cafe, care home assistant Emily (Elizabeth Di Prinzio) and her four friends (who bound for South by Southwest) play Samaritan and take her back home to her concerned parents Val (Virginia Williams) and Wayne (Johnathon Schaech). When a sudden mishap causes Lucy’s parents to head to hospital, Emily and her friends decide to remain behind at the remote farmhouse to look after the girl. But when things start to go bump in the night and Lucy runs off into the woods to play with her ‘imaginary’ friends, the gang discover there’s something evil lurking in the darkness…
This supernatural hodgepodge certainly starts off promising with shots of broken creepy-looking dolls, children chanting ritualistic-sounding nursery rhymes and something growling in a closet, but while writer/director Rustam Branaman sets out to create an element of creeping suspense, he ends up just trying our patience.
Nothing happens for a long time, while the mishmash of horror elements, including a black smoke spirit jumping from host to host, a demon in the barn (that you only ever see fleetingly) and an army of ghost children (actually five or six kids starring out of an upstairs window) just don’t add up. You also have to wait almost 80-minutes before finding out what’s really going on – but even then, it’s not made clear. So when Val and Wayne arrive back in the midst of the mayhem (their absence being an awkward device to get the kids on their own) and Val turns to hubby and says: ‘Most people never figure out what’s going on’, I thought: ‘No shit Sherlock!’ as I was having terrible trouble making sense of it myself.
Apart from caring heroine Emily, the characters are also deeply unlikeable: pill-popping Amanda’s just out of rehab, Sean’s a stoner, Hank’s an unfunny practical joker, and her beau Tyler has a tendency to shout all the time. So when the culling starts, you end up cheering on their demise – which, as it happens, is often the result of their own stupidity rather than anything supernatural. The final shot suggests a sequel – please no!
The Culling is out on DVD and screens on Sky Box Office from 23 March 2015
Posted on March 20, 2015, in Horror, Maybe Miss, Maybe-Miss and tagged American indie horror, Elizabeth Di Prinzio, Harley Graham, Horror, Maybe miss, Rustam Branaman, The Culling. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.