As you may know, I like my horror movies. I love to wait until dark, turn off all the lights, headphones on and soak up the atmosphere. I find most modern horrors aren’t great, have a read of my Fear Street 1994 review and Fear Street 1978.
This brings me though to A Classic Horror Story. Someone on Twitter said:
If you take 80s slashers, THE WICKER MAN, THE VILLAGE, EVIL DEAD, SILENT HILL, and MIDSOMMAR and put them in a blender, you get the oh so meta Italian horror movie within a horror movie, A CLASSIC HORROR STORY, now streaming on Netflix. Extra points for “Bloodflix.”
This peaked my interest and I had it on my watchlist, so I sat down last night and watched it and here’s my review.
A Classic Horror Story
I’m going to keep the review as spoiler free as possible, but it’s going to be hard work.
The movie is an Italian production, directed by Robert De Feo and Paolo Strippoli and it’s written by them and Luci Besana. It stars Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Francesco Russo, Will Merrick, Yuliia Sobil and Peppino Mazzotta. For those not into subtitles, there is some of English in the movie, but it is mostly in Italian with subtitles.
The plot is:
In this gruesome suspense film, strangers travelling in southern Italy become stranded in the woods, where they must fight desperately to get out alive.
There’s a group of people travelling in a RV; Mark (Marrick) and Sofia (Sobol) are heading to a wedding, Riccardo (Mazzotta) is a doctor returning home, Elisa (Ingrid Lutz) is visiting her family and Fabrizio (Russo) is driving the RV. Fabrizio is a keen Instagramer and filming some of the events for his feed.
As they are driving, they crash, narrowly missing a dead goat laying in the middle of the road, everyone passes out.
When they wake up, the RV is in a field with an old church type building nearby, there’s no phone network and no road…this is where it starts to get weird!
The way the story unfolds is really good, it’s a slow burn of a movie, but as every page is turned, just makes you wonder what the hell is going on. The cast are all really good, each of the characters have their own personality, as you would expect, but I found myself caring for each one of them and I needed to find out how they were going to get out of the situation.
There is a local legend, about three ‘beings.’ One cannot speak, one cannot see and one cannot hear and they demand sacrifices to help keep the local farmers prosperous and the land fertile.
That’s all I’m going say about the story. As it unfolds, it gets creepier and seems to be more confusing, but you are still drawn into what is going on! I wouldn’t say this is a ‘scary’ movie, there aren’t any real jumps. There are however a couple of HOLY SHIT moments, where I actually put my hands over my mouth in surprise. And I will always hate the sound of an air-raid siren!
The ending of the movie, I found very satisfying! I won’t spoil it, but it works really well. At first, I thought it was a little bit of a cop out, but as it was explained more, the more it worked for it. The final 2 minutes are very good, it gives a big middle finger to most ‘horror fans’ and the way they watch horror movies and like/review them. I found myself smiling.
I wouldn’t say the movie is completely original, but at the same time, it kind of is. It certainly was something a little different with the story, it was well made and it held my attention all the way through, but, as I said, it’s a slow burn.
If you like horror and would like to return to the good old days when Italian Horror was great, you might like this. I can imagine it’s not everyone cuppa tea, but I really enjoyed it. I need to see it again, to spot any little nuances about the story, the kind you would only spot the second time around… and I’ll happily watch it again at some point.
It’s not perfect, but it was a really good watch, with a well crafted script, great performances and something just a little different. Far more intelligent than something like the Fear Street trilogy.
A Classic Horror Movie is streaming on Netflix.