films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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2013 / 90m - Canada
Antisocial poster

I've got to hand it to Calahan. Even though I'm completely done with virus/outbreak/zombie flicks, Antisocial worked for me. I've seen so many similar films these past few years (ever since the Dawn of the Dead remake rekindled people's interest) that calling it a genre of its own is almost an understatement.

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So many directors have tried to come up with new angles and different spins that that in itself has become a cliché. Yet Calahan's approach still felt like a fresh take on the subject. Antisocial is definitely not a perfect film and while it's easy to critique the film for some of its weaker aspects, in the end the outbreak atmosphere simply hit all the right notes.

The acting is quite subpar at times and some of the plot points can be pretty far-fetched, but get over that (I'm sure some of you won't be able to, but that's okay) and underneath you'll find a film that plays around with conventions in a rather unique way. So much that I actually started to doubt some of the clichés that have been part of the genre for decades.

The social network spin on the outbreak theme feels a bit flimsy at first (like a doom scenario cocked up by an older generation that simply isn't capable of dealing with modern times), but in the end it proves to be a valid excuse for a much needed breath of fresh air, which is then explored quite aptly. Add to that a pretty gruesome finale and a spot on finish and what you have is an interesting little genre film, not too far out there to venture in author land, but nifty enough to circumvent many of the worn down clichés that are putting the genre in a slump.

Vicious Fun

2020 / 101m - Canada
Comedy, Horror
Vicious Fun poster

A decent meta horror comedy, with some serious 80s vibes. In 2021, a film like this is anything but original, but Calahan is a decent horror director, so he deserved the benefit of the doubt. Vicious Fun has some very solid, memorable bits, but sadly loses quite a bit of steam during the second half.

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Joel is a writer for a horror magazine. He fancies his roommate, but he's too much of a dork to do anything about it. When he follows home one of her dates, he ends up in a shady neon-lit bar. He gets shit-faced and sleeps it off in the janitor's closet. Waking up later that night, the bar is empty, apart from one group of complete wackos.

The first half of the film works best, as Calahan goes full for comedy. The circle meeting was no doubt the highlight of the entire film for me. The second half is more geared at horror, but Calahan fails to add much to the countless slasher flicks that came before. It's all a little too safe and "been there, done that", not exactly what you want from a horror comedy.

Let Her Out

2016 / 89m - Canada
Horror, Sci-fi, Thriller
Let Her Out poster