REVIEW: Saturday Morning Massacre – 2012

‘Saturday Morning Massacre’ premiered last night at the Los Angeles Film Festival. We had a chance to watch it a couple of days earlier last week and we had a blast doing it.

The story of ‘Saturday Morning Massacre’ is simple enough to be compelling: A group of amateur paranormal investigators are strapped for cash and, while determined to further pursue their passion of debunking reported supernatural incidents, feel they have reached the end of the rope. After their first investigation in the film goes embarrassingly sideways and they are pondering their future, they receive a call that could mean their financial salvation. Should they fumble this one as well, it could although be their last investigation and the end of their venture. Determined to make it work this time, they spend the night in an old abandoned house despite being warned of satanic rituals, mysterious disappearances, ghosts and squatters – not to mention the place is a mess.

The team of paranormal investigators is comprised of Jonny Mars as Floyd, Ashley Rae Spillers as Nancy, Josephine Decker as Gwen, Adam Tate as Chad and Hamlet as, well, Hamlet. While our little group intentionally resembles the Scooby Doo gang, each actor manages to carve out their respective character to the point where it doesn’t matter anymore that there is a more famous model for it. While it is hard to forget watching the movie, that it is a parody, each character develops a convincing persona you actually start to like and care about. Even Paul Gordon as Officer Lance, who comes across as somewhat awkward and stiff in his early scenes, turns out to be one hilarious character just a short way into the film. His dry comments and remarks contribute greatly to the dialogue and he is responsible for some of the funniest lines .

‘Saturday Morning Massacre’ is a comedy, and it fulfills that claim well with its solid humor that naturally blends into the plot. Just like any good comedy, the puns and jokes are not laugh out loud funny, but subtle and, if you don’t pay attention, you might just miss a few of them. This is one quality that sets ‘Saturday Morning Massacre’ apart from many other horror comedies; it is not silly with forced jokes and cheesy effects, it is solid horror with honest humor sprinkled in for good measure.

The atmosphere throughout ‘Saturday Morning Massacre’ is dense, authentic and, best of all, created without diving head over heels into CGI. Director Spencer Parson brings the script, penned by Jason Wehling, Jory Balsimo, and Aaron Legget, to true life in a convincing and honest fashion, creating funny moments as convincingly as frightening, potentially lethal encounters.

A good story, solid performances, honest humor and authentic visuals make ‘Saturday Morning Massacre’ genuine horror fun.

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