Welcome to Horrible Films for Horrible People. A segment where we hunt for horrible horror films throughout the world and watch them so you don’t have to. This week I decided to review Brenton Spencer’s The Club. You may remember when I reviewed Mr. Spencer’s film Never Cry Wolf (2008). No? It’s OK. Let’s just forget about it.
The film starts in a medieval times themed prom that’s being held in a huge, gothic castle. From seeing that I immediately thought to myself: Why wasn’t my prom at a castle? Such a shame. It’s an actual castle. There are vaulted ceilings, suits of armor and even fancy candle stick holders. We see couples dancing, some of them look totally in love but most likely will break up before the night is over. Then we meet the guidance counselor Mr. Carver. Why is the guidance counselor at prom? No clue! I know my guidance counselor wasn’t at mine let alone in her office. I have no idea how that woman kept her job when she was always M.I.A. More specifically, he’s in the bathroom having a conversation with himself because I guess the director wanted us to know what he was thinking. He’s saying how he wishes he could teach gym class again so he could stare at the girls in their tight shorts.
Shortly thereafter, Mr. Carver’s conversation is interrupted by a mysterious student named John Rotman. John accuses Mr. Carver of murder and rape. As the viewer you are confused but don’t necessarily doubt the accusations. Mr. Carver freaks out and starts violently hitting John. He smashes John’s head into the wall repeatedly and leaves him in the bathroom bloody and battered. Mr. Carver, the guidance counselor…yes the guidance counselor, leaves the bathroom goes back to the main room where the students were dancing, socializing and having a good time.
We then meet Kyle, who is an abusive a-hole of a boyfriend and his beautiful but frightened girlfriend Laura who wants to break up. Back to Mr. Carver who sets his eyes on a student named Amy, who looks very mature to be a senior in high school. Amy doesn’t notice the creepy guidance counselor staring at her because she is staring into her boyfriend Evan’s eyes. We also meet Darren, a geek with a terrible hat. I have no idea why the costume designer told him to wear that hat but it looks atrocious and like it belongs in the trash. John approaches Darren, yes, John, the same guy who got his head smashed into the wall. John doesn’t look like he has had his head smashed into a wall. He quickly notices that Darren is staring at Amy and Evan so he starts a conversation. I have no idea which one Darren was interested in Amy or Evan.
Abruptly, there’s some random wind blowing around the castle which causes the all the doors to shut, glass to shatter and a whole bunch of other dramatic, mystical things occur. Time completely stops at midnight. And by that point, everyone has disappeared with the exception of six students: Amy, Evan, Kyle, Laura, Darren (hat still intact), and the mysterious student John. John knows so much about the other students but no one knows anything about him. In fact no one has even seen John before. Therefore John is clearly hiding a secret from the rest of the students which causes them all to split up.
The group’s desire to split up kind of reminded me of the Scooby Doo cartoons. It never works out in horror movies. And this is no exception. Never. The storyline in this film does a complete 180 from here. You may think you know what’s going to happen but you don’t. Oh and if you’re wondering about the creepy guidance counselor, Mr. Carver, he’s still around.
There were some cool things in this film (SPOILERS): John is actually Satan’s soldier. In order to become Satan’s soldier, you must commit murder or suicide. John committed suicide many, many years ago but still remains Satan’s faithful soldier therefore he will forever be a part of The Club. Purpose of the film? The students must find the strength to face their fears before the time starts again or they may end up in The Club. I liked the idea behind the film and thought it had potential. Unfortunately, most of the film’s potential is squandered. As far as the acting, it wasn’t too awful, it was actually better than I was anticipating, but still left a lot to be desired.
Now on to the bad: John was entertaining at first but then it went downhill quickly. He was supposed to come off as demented with a dark sense of humor but it was annoying and not scary or funny. The film has a unique story line but it lacks creativity. I thought that the kills would at least be entertaining but they really weren’t. I think after the first 30 minutes the director was just throwing things together. The film falls into cliched territory very quickly and I was disappointed. Could we see something new that actually delivers? The ending wraps everything up within minutes. By the end, I was very ready for it to be over.
I almost forgot, there’s a scene where a girl gets slapped so hard she flies off a balcony…I know it sounds awful but it was hilarious! I couldn’t stop laughing or re-watching it in slow motion to figure out how it happened. The sad thing is that it wasn’t supposed to be funny, it was supposed to be a terrible, mournful, God-awful moment. Oops.
I do not recommend The Club, unless you have no friends, family, or pets and your cable and DVD collection have exploded. If you fall into that category, I do definitely recommend it.
WICKED RATING: [usr 1.5]
Title: The Club
Director: Brenton Spencer
Writer(s): Robert C. Cooper
Stars: J.H. Wyman, Kim Coates
Studio/ Production Co: Unknown
Length: 90 Minutes