Combustible Celluloid
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With: Matthew Nelson-Mahood, Lizzie Boys, Gabriel LaBelle, Lauren Holly, Donavon Stinson, Valerie Tian
Written by: Phil Ivanusic, Davila LeBlanc, Peter Ricq
Directed by: Peter Ricq
MPAA Rating: R for bloody violence/gore, language throughout, and some sexual references
Running Time: 85
Date: 02/16/2018

Dead Shack (2018)

3 Stars (out of 4)

'Shack' Rats

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This spirited, silly horror movie isn't particularly fresh or scary, but it has enough charm to be worthy of a viewing by genre fans. Shy, awkward Jason (Matthew Nelson-Mahood) is invited by his best friend, the abrasive, insulting twit Colin (Gabriel LaBelle) to join Colin's family on a little vacation in a cabin in the woods. Jason has a little crush on Colin's acerbic sister, Summer (Lizzie Boys), and his attempts to be kind to her are met with jokes. Colin and Summer's father Roger (Donavon Stinson, quite funny) is a middle-aged goofball who only wants to get drunk with his cute new girlfriend, Lisa (Valeria Tian). The three teens go exploring and come upon another cabin, where the sexy neighbor (Lauren Holly) — usually clad in tight-fitting black armor — takes care of zombies by luring men there, drugging them and turning them into zombie food. Aside from the three teens constantly blabbing and insulting each other, the rest of the story involves the usual investigating, screaming, gearing up, zombie-fighting, and splatters of gore, though certainly with a few fun surprises and genuine laughs.

The streaming service Shudder counts this as one of their collection of originals, and they have now released a Blu-ray so non-subscribers can enjoy too. The transfer is not stunning, given the large amount of dark, night shots, but it's more than adequate. The sound is very good. Extras include trailers for other horror movies, and a twenty-minute behind-the-scenes featurette.

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