Film Review: 100 ACRES OF HELL (2019)

100 ACRES OF HELL *** USA 2019 Dir: Hank Leigh Hump. 84 mins

Everyone loves a holiday on a wildlife park, nature is so full of wonder.

Dark wonder.

Urban legends blur with naked fear in a deranged hunter’s 100 acre home or is it more like a prison for a pack of wild animals?

This able film from Screenshot Entertainment reeks of savage instincts in what you will discover is a ghoulishly unnerving horror escapade riddled with nice sarcastic humour and bound by solid acting from the four main protagonists who play their characters in a similar vein to Messrs. Liotta, Nero and Pesci in Goodfellas, at once ruthless and fun-loving, each with a different darker side to tell.

A large cast and stunning dark rock soundtrack from Michael James Romeo give us an exciting and very suspenseful film that wrings every ounce of life from it’s budget and will have you on the edge of your seat for more with it’s intense and fear-drizzled atmosphere that provides us with a good mix of fun comedic elements and a very dark subplot that holds it all together well.

Gene Snitsky is awesome as the quietly troubled and brooding TV star Buck Severs who finds himself on the decline and becomes the main anti-hero of the piece as he and his pals head out into the “ass-end of Pennsylvania” to a remote former wildlife park in Foggy Creek that was once known as ‘100 Acres of Wildlife’ but has recently and mysteriously been unofficially named ‘100 Acres of Hell’.

So Buck, Trent, Morgan and the marvellously OTT Bo set off for a lads party in the woods calling in at a small town on the way that comes across as a desolate and somewhat neurotic American backwater where no one really goes except for gangs of bikers to stop off at Old Merl’s liquor store for samples of his ‘Ol White Lightning’.

Buck Severs is an odd character who stands alone and aloof from the others and the reason is not made fully clear until the frenzied finish where you will find a well orchestrated killing frenzy erupts as the ghouls start to lift off Buck’s broad but tired back.

If novel and interesting ways of killing intrigue you then this film is for you as the methods that are employed and superbly visualised range from arrows to logs to bare hands right through to hidden mantraps as the trespassers to ‘100 Acres of Hell’ find that it is more like a hunting ground for humans where the wildlife has sensibly fled long ago.

The simple and convincing story arc is one of Jeb Tucker who was Randall Tucker’s son, but is he real or just a campfire horror story told to keep visitors out of the park?

You’ll want to keep watching this one right to the end to see how it turns out and you won’t be disappointed as the movie careers like an American Werewolf lost in the woods to it’s fulfilling Predator like ending that is almost begging for a sequel to be made. The well layered and written screenplay by Jason Koerner, Ed McKeever and Gene Snitsky gets us in all nice and personal with it’s key players right from the start so that our interest is fully maintained all the way to it’s strange ending that is not all that it would seem.

When you buy this film you will explore an at times unbelievable scenario that is embellished by a captivating story of crazed bloodlust and bestial nightmares.

Review by Nathan Sandiford

 

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