Film Review: TONIGHT SHE COMES (2016)

TONIGHT SHE COMES *** U.S.A. 2016 Dir: Matt Stuertz 84 mins

This self-consciously anarchic splatter movie opens with a relatively obscure homage to THE DRILLER KILLER (the opening card informing us “This film should be played loud”) before setting its tone with a frantic scene of a young woman seemingly preparing for a John Hurt-style monster birth. The narrative is punctuated by amusingly redundant intertitles keeping obsessive track of the time (“Nine Thirty Six In The Morning”), and follows inexperienced mailman Nathan Eswine, who has lost his way in the woods while on the job and runs into a pair of amusingly shallow young women celebrating “Shark Week Day 4: The Revenge”.
After enjoying an impromptu wank observing the bikini-clad ladies, his deadbeat pal (Adam Hartley) chances upon an apparently dead naked girl, and all hell breaks loose. The ensuing mayhem – not always coherent and linked to yet another devil-worshipping backwoods family – takes on a flippant tone for a while (“She has the ugliest vomit face in the world!”), but strives for genuine intensity in the second half. It goes all-out to be gross and gruesome, with a bloody sleeping bag kill stolen from two FRIDAY THE 13TH movies and the third inventive use of a bloody tampon in independent horror this year (see also NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE and IT STAINS THE SANDS RED). Engagingly played, writer-director-editor Matt Stuertz’s film boasts impressive practical gore FX – including a juicy exploding head – while saving its most outlandish moment until the end. This, like pretty much everything before it, is borrowed from a much earlier source (Takashi Miike’s GOZU), though it’s a zippy, entertaining ride.

Review by Steven West

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