I've been watching horror movies for so long, it's becoming harder and harder to entertain me nowadays. I feel like I've basically seen all the genre has to offer. So when something highly original turns up, you can surely color me surprised, and happy.
And that's exactly how I felt as I watched the twisted, surreal, and very inventive new horror film, Sweet Taste of Souls.
When four struggling band members stop at a lonely roadside cafe for a slice of pie, they find themselves imprisoned in the deranged cafe owner's bizarre art collection and must battle a sinister force with an appetite for souls.
Man, this is one trippy flick! Trippy, and vicious! Seriously, this one is unforgiving. It plays like a nasty episode of The Twilight Zone. To be honest, it kind of reminded me of the season 3 episode Five Characters in Search of an Exit meets The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to be exact.
The cast is good, particularly Honey Lauren as Ellinore, the main antagonist. She is the perfect combination of psychotic and seductive as she holds these individuals hostage in an otherworldly manner. The core four, played by John Salandria, Mark Valeriano, Amber Gaston, and Sarah J. Bartholomew, who make up the main characters, are also great. It's funny, they start off very unlikable, arguing throughout their entire introduction. But, after they become stuck in their predicament, I grew to like them a lot. Kudos to them for being engaging and entertaining.
The scenario, conjured up by writer F. Scott Mudgett, within the film is also very novel and imaginative. And watching these people trying to figure out what's going on as well as a way out is absolutely captivating. Seriously, I was never bored throughout the duration of this. But none of this would work had it not been for the confident and capable direction of filmmaker Terry Ross. She gets the right amount of tension out of the transcendental situation. Salute to her.
But this is a horror movie, so I know you're wondering "Is there any carnage?" And the answer is… oh yes, there be carnage. We get crushed in skulls, severed limbs and impalings. Not by the bucket load, but enough to quench your thirst for blood, that is.
Any gripes? Well, the film is an independent feature, so it was made on a low budget, but you're not really paying attention to that, because it's handled so well. But during the climax, there's some usage of CGI that, while somewhat disturbing in theory, doesn't look all that great. It kind of looks unfinished. I won't hold that against them though, since everything else was fine.
But yeah, if you're looking for some ingenious independent horror with a mean streak, look no further than Sweet Taste of Souls. This one gets a full recommendation from me.