College girls, sewing machines and the bloodiest rendition of C.S. Lewis’ beloved children’s tale in this installment of the Blood Gutter.
This one is throwing a bone out to the Amazon Prime horrorphiles, as this movie is not available on Netflix. And if there was ever a reason for you to get Amazon Prime, it is this movie. I’m not even sure that I want to start writing about this, because I think that if I start, I won’t be able to stop. There is a mixture of emotions that runs the gamut of human experience, both behind and in front of the screen. It’s very important to understand that there are sewing machines in the basement. Also, let’s be perfectly clear here and note, for the record, that this film is “Based on True Events”. Here we go.
It starts out like any other story: A young, naive woman so full of life visits a…. house? … building that she is interested in purchasing for her family, including her one year old daughter. It’s shown by Charlene Glass, a no-nonsense-in-your-face rocker with a fleur-de-lis belt buckle. She tells of the buildings idiosyncrasies, most importantly the basement as it has storage for sewing machines. Well, she has matters that need to be attended to and informs our sweet, sweet girl that she may find a surprise in the basement. She passes the teapot table and the lamp table on her way to creaky stairs that inevitably lead to there to investigate, with a concerned look, the sounds she heard, or perhaps whereabouts of the surprise. She didn’t even expect to be murdered.
Now, let’s take a journey 20 years in the future to the present, at least the present of flip phones, and meet the eponymous Alice (Malerie Grady). Our Alice is already putting puzzle pieces perfectly… pogether… in that she recognizes that her mother was 21 years old when she was murdered, and this weekend is her own 21st birthday. Yes, it appears this is the one year old daughter of our axed antecedent Anne, only all grown up and in a sorority. As with most sisters, not everything is sewing machines and basements as we’re given a peek at day to day bikini swimming activities which includes plenty of bickering.
Who likes themed birthday parties? I know I do. Especially when the theme is a play on the birthday persons name. Like when Nick Nefarious threw a “Goddamn courtesy to give him a CREATURE round” Full Metal Jacket themed birthday party for me. It was great, but there was less killing and absolutely no sewing machines in or out of the basement. These girls, led by best friend Malory (Marlene Mc’Cohen) decide that an Alice in Wonderland theme would be great and they all are assigned characters to dress up as and we get to meet them individually. BFF Malory also suggests a great venue for the party that her uncle just bought. The Glass Place. As in Charlene Glass. As in, the place where Alice’s mother was brutally murdered. This gets a reaction from some of the sorority girls and most importantly from Alice herself, who quickly leaves after announcing that she must see her aunt Lena. Now, it seemed that all the girls knew that Alice’s mother was killed there. Why would Malory even entertain the notion that celebrating on the anniversary of her best friend’s mothers death, at the location of her death, would be a good idea? Is it because it’s going to be a great place to through a wild party or something more sinister? Stay tuned.
Aunt Lena is a wealth of information regarding the details of Anne Lewis’ death and life. Do they live with Lena? Are they visiting, together? Why is Malory there?
Meet Mr. Rene White. Goofy college professor. All around good guy and new owner of The Glass Place, sewing machines and all. That’s all great and stuff and the scene with Malory’s boyfriend Andrew just reinforces his moral, good guy stance, but the scene after is really great. It’s got this guy.
If the movie was just Dream Sequence Mad Hatter and Sewing Machines I would have been happy. CAN YOU BELIEVE WE’RE ONLY 15 MINUTES IN? Let’s fast forward: Rene explains that there are sewing machines in the basement – NO BOYS – Bitchy friend says YES TOTALLY BOYS – character roles are given – eggs are beaten – panty words are almost exposed – NO CELLPHONES – boyfriends…. set up dangerous traps for the girls? wait what? – everyone does their homework on or around the couch at the same time – junkyard walk? – cat fights with panty words revealed – we finally get to see the sewing machines!
The rest of the film plays as a horror who-done-it with murder, mayhem and drug abuse being central themes. Oh, and Alice in Wonderland costumes. Think you know who the killer is? I never like to spoil the endings of the movies and review, but it certainly isn’t the sewing machines.
I had fun watching this movie. Isn’t that what horror movies are all about? Sure, huge budget films are great, but every now and again, check out the little guy. Have a few laughs. Not to sound like a pretentious prick but, these people are creating. They wanted to do something and they went out an did it. They made a goddamn movie and that’s more than can be said for a lot of people. Show em some horror love and watch it. Unless you’re a Jabberywocky. No Jabberwockys allowed.
Streaming on Amazon Prime Instant as of 11/21/2015