If I were to make a list of "Feelings I Desire to Have," a few things come to mind. Comfort. Happiness. Fun times. Fright? Not on there. Terror, discomfort, the suspicion one is about to be murdered in one's own home? These don't even make the bottom 100. Not interested. But it has come to my attention that there is a segment of the population that not only relishes misery, but also is curious about what exactly it looks and sounds like when someone is beaten to death in the face with a bat. Who am I to deny those people their thrills 'n' chills?
So, in all fairness to Frayed (a locally produced horror movie recently picked up for DVD distribution by Lionsgate), the actual horror fan I brought to the Seattle premiere declared, "That movie was greeeeeeat!!!"
Written, produced, and directed by Seattle area natives Rob Portmann, Kurt Svennungsen, and Norbert Caoili (one of whom appears to have named the lead psycho, Kurt, after himself) and filmed over 22 days in Washington State, Frayed is a loving, straightforward homage to 1980s slasher-movie tropes. Along with the escaped mental patient, there are also nubile teens, creepy children, sex in tents, atrocious dialogue, clown makeup, an abandoned gas station, the forest, and much slicing and dicing. People say things like "Be strong for me!" and make preposterously bad choices (DO NOT CREEP DOWN THE FUCKING HALLWAY! THAT IS A FOOL'S ERRAND!). "They're fucked," I scribbled in my notes. "Night guard at the mental hospital is a fucking shitty job." And then: "STOP BREATHING SO LOUD, GARY!"
Even though the genre isn't, as they say, my cup of recently bludgeoned mom blood, the fact that three local film fans with day jobs could pull off such a professional production is exciting. I wanted to applaud a little bit at every successful effect. The post-mom-bludgeoning wet sack of face, billed as "one of the most brutally graphic scenes ever depicted on film," comes to mind—OMG! It really looks like what a pulverized face probably looks like! I hate that it's in my brain now, but I recognize the accomplishment. That's called hometown pride.
Anyway, all I know is that I woke up at 4:30 a.m. after the screening and could not fall back asleep because of the possibility (technically an impossibility, you dicks!!!) of a stabby mop-headed clown-faced night terror tap-tap-tapping on my ground-floor window. Which, I guess, means that Frayed totally did its job. Mission accomplished. THANKS.