06th May2019

Pass Horror Notes: ‘Flay’ Review

by Aaron Shakespeare

pass-horror-notes

FLAY

Stars: Elle LaMont, Violett Beane, A. Michael Baldwin, Kaylee King, Johnny Walter, Aaron Spivey-Sorrells, Dalton E. Gray, Emily Grace Dunn, Sarah Joy Byington, Noé de la Garza , Peggy Schott, Mike Dell | Written by Matthew Daley | Directed by Eric Pham

Name: Flay
Age: 2019

Appearance:
CGI-laden ghostly horror, featuring a Slenderman entity, a haunted painting, a cursed chain, teenage angst drama and a cameo from A. Michael Baldwin,  aka “Mike” out of Phantasm.

Flay-poster

Not another Slenderman film?

With his faceless stare and fine suit, it looks like Slenderman but it’s actually the ghost of a murdered American Indian who went by the name of Flay.

So, why does he wear a suit and tie?

The film opens with a prologue set in the 1800s showing Flay refusing to wear western clothing and is tortured to death by having his face skinned whilst being chained.

Hence the cursed chains!

Yes!

And the faceless man!

Yes!

And the suit and tie!

I guess…

So, it’s not ‘the’ Slenderman but ‘a’ slender man ghost that happens to wear a suit and tie because he refused to wear a suit and tie.

Yes… I think…

That’s a bit harsh! By that logic I’m fated to haunt my flat wearing nothing but my wife’s God awful chicken-zombie socks that she bought for my birthday.

Chicken-zombie socks?

Awful present. Never wore them. Gave them to my brother-in-law, Barry – he likes that sort of crap.

Anyway, back to Flay…

Yes, back to Flay… Tell us about Flay.

Flay is about a young woman named Moon (Elle LaMont) who returns home after the death of her artist mother, where she meets her estranged younger brother River (Dalton E. Gray). Moon has been away for a long time doing something or other leaving River to deal with their artist mother who was a drug addict. As you can imagine, their meeting leads to much sibling tension and shouting. Lots of shouting! Of course in the background of all this familial conflict lurks Flay, the angry but dapper ghost.

I presume death follows in his wake?

Flay murders anyone who has a piece of his cursed chain but apart from one scene where Flay uses his ghostly magic to pull the life force from a victim, most of the deaths happen frustratingly off-screen. Flay also has the power to emerge from any pools of liquid including a bizarre moment where he jumps out of some spilt milk on the floor.

Oooh, intriguing. I’d love to know why.

Errr, we don’t know.

Eh?

The problem is that very little is explained. Flay’s motivations are never fleshed out. What is it about the chain that makes him kill people? Why the suit and tie? All of his victims return as faceless ghosts and yet no one thinks to ask. Why does Flay have magic? Why does Moon suddenly develop a psychic link to Flay? I’m all for leaving things mysterious but some may find these dangling threads annoying.

Like why are the characters called Moon and River?

I’m assuming there is some Native American connection but it’s never made clear. No one says, ‘Hey, why did your mother call you Moon? What’s that all about, then?’

It sounds like the cinematic equivalent of my chicken-zombie socks.

Well, as a jaded horror fan I try to look for the good in these films. If you’re looking for fun there are some amusing “WTF” dialogue that come out of nowhere.

WTF? As in, Where’s That Flay?

As in, What The Flay is happening? For example, there’s a bizarre conversation where River’s girlfriend wants to reuse a dirty old condom.

Ah, the romance.

Or, how about the achingly beautiful exchange where River and his girlfriend discuss how they might enjoy her pissing in bed.

Ah, l’amour!

If that isn’t too soppy for you, then you might like one life affirming moment outside a bathroom door where River wonders aloud if the love of his life is busy having a poo.

It’s as if it were written by Cupid himself!

Indeed. Those who enjoy odd “where did that come from” dialogue may get some pleasure from Flay. Some of the script is just way, way out there.

Like my chicken-zombie socks?

Flay is the chicken-zombie sock of ghostly horror. You might enjoy it for the weirdness but the novelty wears thin. There are far too many questions and you end up giving it to your brother-in-law, Barry.
______

Don’t say: Flay, Flay go away.
Do Say: Come again another day!

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