Good evening ghosts and ghouls! Tonight we jump into a film of psychotic terror titled THE WICKED ONE – directed by Tory Jones and written by Tory Jones and Cheyenne Gordon.
The film centers around a group of traveling friends who are hoping for a fun filled weekend getaway; however, they find themselves in the cross hairs of one of the most dangerous and prolific serial killers in history.
I was excited to check out Tory Jones THE WICKED ONE because it’s a film that stepped out of the current popular demand for horror and brings a film focused around a killer and is more of a stalk and slash type of concept. Indie films tend to follow the beat of their own drum at times so after waiting for the opportunity to check out THE WICKED ONE, I was open-minded going in.
The opening of the film showcases some home videos and then quickly turns on you as you witness an off-screen stabbing. Typically I’m not a fan of off-screen kills but I thought, “Hey, it’s only the intro.”
As we progress further into the film, I begin to notice something about the plot. It’s a pretty generic horror storyline that I have endured on many occasions; however, I could see the plot to THE WICKED ONE being a fantastic idea for a haunted walk-through experience. The idea of a haunt experience that held the worst of the worst psychos that were locked up in the same facility and then escaped to go on a staff killing spree, would scare the brakes off of me.
As for the acting, it’s what I would anticipate for an indie film and please don’t take that the wrong way as I do not mean the acting was bad. Trevor (Cheyenne Gordon) did an excellent job playing the “fuck up” brother with a chip on his shoulder. Dale Miller did an excellent job portraying the slightly level-headed pushy jock type with his character Adam. Sonya Delormier and Katie Stewart also had positive performances. What I did not like much was the acting of the guards in the beginning of the film, prior to the unfolding plot. However, this was totally minuscule compared to the remainder of the film.
The biggest gripe I had with the film was the off-camera kills. I know this is due to lack of budget for practical effects but it’s something that I totally dislike, especially in slasher films. These types of films give us characters to hate (at least in my opinion) and you are basically waiting for them to get picked off. It is so much more satisfying to witness the perfectly (or not perfectly) executed practical effects, to see a blade penetrate flesh and see the attacked get blood sprayed directly into their face.
One thing I did enjoy was the mask factor of the killer. I enjoyed the minor nod to the HALLOWEEN franchise by noting that the killer either requires or feels more powerful while wearing a mask. The chosen mask is reminiscent of other films that I won’t mention, but I liked it regardless.
I will quickly conclude this review by stating that maybe with a bigger budget, this film could have been executed in a more effective manner. I don’t even think this film could score an R rating, which makes it more appropriate for a wider audience, but to me, that isn’t what horror is about. It’s about the strange, deranged, and macabre and this film barely achieved that for me.