25th Nov2020

‘Derelicts’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Kelly Dealyn, David Lee Hess, Emily Ammon, Dalton Allen, Steve Uzzell, Les Best, Lana Dieterich, Sam Pleasant, Clay Shirley, Kara Mellyn, Andre Evrenos, Marcela Pineda, Pat Turner | Written by Brett Glassberg, Andre Evrenos, Clay Shirley | Directed by Brett Glassberg

Derelicts has taken three years to get from completion to release, which should tell you something about the finished product. An even bigger clue would be that this film is debuting on YouTube. Yes, YouTube.

Essentially a home invasion horror – though the film is short an actually scares, rather its more of an us-versus-them, “Oh these people make my skin crawl” kind of horror – Derelicts tells the story of a family getting together at Thanksgiving. You know, your typical family, one that keeps secrets from each other. The kind of family where the father is having an affair, the son is a chronic masturbator and the daughter is a closet junkie. Oh and then there’s the grandparents. Two horrible individuals who we’re introduced to with a delightful scene of them f*cking in bed. Twice.

Into this wonderful family gathering (please note the sarcasm), comes another family. A family of vagrants who hijack the truck of a Good Samaritan (who was also on the way to the Thanksgiving party) and follow the GPS to the door of this strained family gathering. Then the usual game of cat and mouse ensues. Following every cliche and stereotype in the home invasion playbook.

Only with lots of mentions of Cambodia. Like lots.

Apparently it took three people to writer this film, which consists of script that mainly features people shouting obscenities at each other, screaming and whaling, or making strange feral animal sounds. Three people? Really?! Three people to copy and paste the plot of a myriad of other horror films…

OK, OK. So there’s a spark of an interesting idea here when one character talks about how the invading gang never wanted to act like this. But it’s one line in a film that so desperately wants to be the next Devils Rejects. If more time was spent on this simple plot thread or more was made of the “which family is worse” angle that similar films take, the Derelicts could have been a lot… more. As it stands now this just feels like a clone of movies that have come before. An nth-generation clone where the sheen and polish have worn off and what’s left is rough around the edges.

Speaking of rough. To be fair to director Brett Glassberg, he does capture the nastier aspects of this type of home invasion film well. Which means if you’re looking for a film the is a throwback to the nasty, vicious home invasion films like Last House on the Left or House on the Edge of the Park then Derelicts is probably for you. Just don’t get your hopes up too much.

Derelicts is available to watch now on the Kings of Horror YouTube channel, with a 6-week exclusive window, before going on wider release next month.


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