Saturday, May 16, 2015

Film Review: Hayride 2 (2015)

Hayride 2 (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...way too much filler, not enough thriller."

After being captured, legendary serial killer Pitchfork escapes as he's being transferred in an ambulance...

Hayride 2 is a straightforward slasher. After Pitchfork escapes from the ambulance, he heads to the hospital where the survivors of his previous massacre are being held. Detective Loomis (Corlandos Scott) is hot on his trail, while the survivors are oblivious of Pitchfork's forthcoming massacre. Anyway, Pitchfork kills everyone that crosses his path with ease, then kidnaps a young women. The story doesn't really have much going on. In fact, most of it is simply dull filler. The ending is predictable yet decent.

Before I delve too deeply into this review, keep in mind I have not watched the first film. Anyway, Hayride 2 is a mediocre slasher. It's not necessarily poorly made, it's just boring. A lot of the story focuses on flashbacks and unnecessary dialogue. The flashbacks are occasionally useful for someone like me, but some of them are completely useless — most will be useless for anyone who has seen the first film. There are also a lot of dull, dragged out conversations. Some of these conversations add a pinch of character. Most, however, simply inflate the runtime and slow down the pace. Consequently, most of the narrative feels hollow and uneventful.

There are some grizzly death scenes as one would rightfully expect in a slasher, but they are far and few in-between; they're very consistent during the first half of the film, then suddenly become scarce until the finale. There's also some light suspense here and there. Usually, characters walking very slowly towards a sound they heard. Despite the death scenes and the light suspense, there really isn't much horror going on here.

The acting is mostly okay. Corlandos Scott is decent. Jeremy Sande is hit-or-miss. Really, considering the bland narrative, there really aren't many opportunities for any of the cast to shine. The film looks decent, too. The music isn't bad per se, but its implementation is unfortunate. The same track plays over and over and over, which become irritable after a while. Also, the music doesn't really match the mood of a horror film, it feels more like someone tried replicating a superhero soundtrack. The practical effects are okay.

There are a few bloody deaths here, but nothing over-the-top — there's probably one death scene I'll actually remember. Writer and director Terron R. Parsons delivers a dull yet well-made slasher. Although certainly not perfect either way, Parsons is better as director than writer. His direction may lack focus, but that may be due to the writing. This film is simply too dull and uneventful. It feels like Parsons had stretched 45 minutes of movie into 90 minutes — way too much filler, not enough thriller.

Overall, Hayride 2 is a mediocre slasher. There were moments where I was genuinely engaged and there were some solid death scenes, but the bulk of the film is boring. That's the film's grandest offense — it's boring. The film has other flaws, like the questionable acting and the misused music, but the lack of entertainment is the worst of all. Like I said, it's not a poorly made film and it's certainly not the worst I've ever seen, but I wouldn't rush out to watch this — even if you are a hardcore slasher fan, like myself.

Score: 4/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, some gore.

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