If you hunt for new horror titles as much as I do, then you will have undoubtedly seen An American Terror on the front page of the horror section on practically every VOD medium there is. I hadn’t heard a peep about it until it’s release, and the trailer left me with mixed emotions about the level of quality I was going to receive if I set aside time to view the film. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a shot, and I’m glad that I did.
An American Terror has a rather confusing start, but not due to poor character development or confusing dialogue. The color grading is simply weird. We go from an awesome pair of opening shots, then cut to a solid 5 or 6 minutes of the entire world being blue. This makes “sense” later on in the film, but in the moment, it really makes you feel like you are watching a much lower grade product than you really are. Luckily, that’s pretty much where my gripes stop. Don’t get it twisted, this is very much an indie horror, and while this is writer/director/editor Haylar Garcia’s directorial debut for a feature film, it doesn’t necessarily feel like it.[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#b20000″ class=”” size=””]While this is writer/director/editor Haylar Garcia’s directorial debut for a feature film, it doesn’t necessarily feel like it.[/pullquote]
The film follows a stereotypical group of “outcast” youths who have been picked on by the popular kids one too many times. After a night full of violent video games, drugs, and alcohol, our outcasts formulate a plan to kill their classmates at the upcoming homecoming dance. Nothing terribly original there, and the stereotype of the “weird kid” that wants revenge is painfully contrived at points, but it does get the story going to a far more interesting place. The kids plan to steal the guns for their impending massacre from a local junk collector. This junk collector just so happens to be the funkiest motherfucker you have ever sat eyes upon. Seriously. His entire outfit is incredible and leads to some pretty wicked imagery throughout the middle of the film. That’s made even more impressive by the fact that horror films tend to sag in the middle. This one thrived in it. I’ll not spoil anything, but the middle 30 to 45 minutes is 100% worth the cost of a quick VOD rental or purchase.[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”#b20000″ class=”” size=””]… the funkiest motherfucker you have ever sat eyes upon.[/pullquote]
Truth be told, I enjoyed An American Terror far more than I planned. That said, it isn’t doing itself any favors. Having the weird blue color grading shots in the trailer may put some off, and searching for the film on IMDB showcases some of the worst cover art I have seen in recent memory. The cover image on VOD platforms is better and showcases our FANTASTIC killer, but instead of the funky obese lunatic…we get a buff Rey Mysterio looking dude…come on now.
All of the above may raise flags for some, and I would understand that. However, I do encourage you to take a chance. It may work against itself in a lot of areas, but when An American Terror is on, it’s really on.
An American Terror [Review]
I know you have seen it while you make your rounds on your favorite VOD platform. I’m here to tell you, An American Terror is worth your time. It’s not necessarily breaking new ground, but it does take on uncomfortable scenarios while staying to true to some of the genre rules that we all love and adore.