One Of Them Review
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[One Of Them]
Plot:Terror awaits a group of stranded teens at a sinister academy.
Richard Anthony Crenna,
John Patrick Jordan,
Larry Paul Van Loon,
Tessla A. Walters.
My Thoughts:They don't make em like this anymore.
Review:Very rarely does a supernatural B horror movie come along that can surprise someone like me. But "One of Them" which has joined my collection of very much liked B horror, did surprise me in alot of ways. The film really knows how to make an entrance and an exit. It starts out with a girl headed back to her school, which is the Marquez Academy..a school which sits on the outskirts of a smalltown community. She knows, and the music and the feel of the scene lets us know too..that she's being followed. But by whom? Well that we never find out, which is what makes this movie so damn cool. Mystery and suspense are certainly not lost on director Ralph Portillo and writer David Ciesielsky, as they are sure to create a huge ora of it around this movie. Even after the girl's boyfriend hangs himself despite her protests and warnings that he will become "One of Them"..the mystery man assaults the girl, and takes her off in his car to dispose of her for good. That's when we meet the obligatory teens in the film, a goody two shoes redhead type, her little brother who wants to grow up really fast (don't they all), and a few others. Soon their car is swarmed by a mysterious swarm of locusts which causes it to spin out and crash. They soon find themselves guests at a very gothic looking school, where the people who reside within it obviously have very *bad* intentions for the group. But again, like I mentioned above..writer Ciesielsky and director Portillo make sure to keep this film shrouded in a mist of mystery as the motives of those the kids are taken in by are not fully revealed until very late in the picture...and a relative of the aforementioned girl at the beginning of the picture, shows up to get information on his missing niece only to be confused and sent on sort of a wild goose chase by odd townspeople who continually ask him is he "One of Them"? Seeing movies like "One of Them" kind of makes you wonder where Hollywood's head is at these days. A movie like this on a big budget could be a potential hit and inject some new blood into the horror genre. It's not exactly clear who the villains are in "One of Them" either. While a mysterious boy and girl all decked out in black clothing named Zander and Amanda, and a woman named Francis make it pretty obvious they are up to no good, the head of the academy named Santiago, and another girl who seems like the nerdy type don't make their allegiances too obvious to the viewer early on. One thing is made clear though as the picture rolls on, there are forces at work who want to keep the stranded teens at the academy in preparation for something..but what? The teens who have one of their friends nursing a bad wheel, and a car which was damaged from the crash, pretty much don't have much of a choice. "One Of Them" plays out as a very well rounded film also..mixing strong elements of the supernatural with strong elements of horror, and never forgetting to include the graphic and bloody scenes of horrific violence and brutality. While the voodoo subplot strung throughout the movie might strike some as tiresome or overused, this movie puts an interesting spin on the mythology and the pratice itself. Seperating it from..as alleged by the films resident psychic..it's bastard form of "Hoodoo", which is what the folks at the Marquez Academy apparently pratice. "One Of Them" has some pretty decent performances as well, in a cast led by Marianne Bennett and Bridget Moore, who play two of the films most caniving villains. If there are any weaknesses to this film it's the dialogue which gets choppy at the end, and a few of the characters good and bad, make some questionable decisions during the very awesome final 20 minutes of the film..which packs in a thorough explanation of the inner-workings of the magics practiced at the Marquez Academy, a startling revelation about the films two main villans, and a scene involving an eyeball which even made me cringe. "One of Them" is certainly a film I'd recommend to any horror fan to check out, and is a testament to what can be done with good writing and good directing over a low budget.
Pros:Great story, good amounts of blood and gore, decent acting, decent dialogue, and a very strong element of mystery, suspense, and horror. The ending was also very creative.
Cons:The writing gets a bit sloppy during the third act.
Overall:Great B horror film that most horror fans are sure to enjoy.
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