22nd Feb2018

‘Bad Apples’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Brea Grant, Graham Skipper, Andrea Collins, Danielle Reverman, Hannah Prichard, Alycia Lourim, Heather Vaughn, Diane Goldner, Richard Riehle, Miles Dougal, Sandy Stoltz, Kire Horton, Sara Parrish, Jasmine St. Clair, Heather Dorff | Written and Directed by Bryan Coyne


It’s Halloween night, and two “bad apples” decide to play some wicked tricks on the one house in a suburban cul-de-sac that is not celebrating Halloween. They terrorize a young couple in their home and these tricks become increasingly more sinister as the night progresses, finally ending in a Halloween the entire neighborhood will never forget…

What does writer/director Bryan Coyne have against pregnancy and kids? His previous film, Infernal, was all about a demonic child and this one features not one, but two, evil-doing psycho kids and opens with a pregnant woman stabbed to death (a nice cameo from Heather Dorff)! Speaking of duos, gruesome two-somes seem to have become a recent trend in horror and so, it would seem are killer girls wearing killer-looking masks… First it was the duo from Tragedy Girls, then the titular Terrible Two and now it’s a pair of trouble-making, neighbourhood killing Bad Apples.

These two titular “bad apples” run around kiling people willy-nilly without explanation or reason. In much the same way the pre-credits killing of the pregnant woman happened without any motivation. OK, so maybe no motivation or explanation is wrong… That does come, just after the film has ended in a tacked-on coda! Yes, writer/director Coyne eventually decides to TRY let us in on some of the whys and hows in a said coda but it’s a sequence that actually does nothing to further the tale. Honestly, it feels like someone watched the movie then asked what the preganant woman had to do with the story and why the two girls were killing on Halloween (the latter question being obvious to anyone whose ever seen a killer kid/bad seed film) and Coyne then scrambled to add an explanantion to appease the non-genre fans!

Though it’s a minor gripe for a film that is, at its core, is a fun 80s-tinged horror that tries – and succeeds – in recapturing the feel of the classic 80s slashers, with [almost] silent killers committing heinous deeds in a small town… Halloween much? But that’s not necesarily a bad thing – at least Coyne knows how to pay respects to those slashers of old without ripping them off in their entirety; which cannot be said of a lot of indie filmmakers trying to make their own pastiches of the genre.

Coyne also brings some new ideas and new visuals to the slasher flick. After all, and is this a first for the movies? The classic “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Life-Alert alarm actually saves a life! Yes, saves a life. It can’t even do it in real life but in the movies? Yeah the crackhead is saved from a stabbing by the life-alert device round his neck! Speaking of which… whilst a lot of the on-screen kills are made up of cuts and stabs, writer/director Bryan Coyne – as the film comes to its conclusion – pulls out all the stops, pulls out the big guns, and pulls out some intestines in the films final third in a gruesome display that also turns one character into a human pumpkin, complete with a candle on the belly! It’s an astonishing piece of effects work that will linger in your mind long after Bad Apples ends.

A straighter, more viscious take on the female killer film that makes Tragedy Girls look somewhat tame in comparison, Bad Apples is out now on VOD from Uncork’d Entertainment.

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