16th Jun2021

‘Axeman: Redux’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Elissa Dowling, Joston Theney, Tiffany Shepis, Brinke Stevens, Scot Pollard, Stephen Eith, Chantelle Albers, Jamie Bernadette, Erin Marie Hogan, Eliza Kiss, Nihilist Gelo, Carlos Javier Castillo, Ray Trickitt | Written and Directed by Joston Theney

Axeman at Cutters Creek is a pretty great name for a horror movie so I’m not sure why this has been changed to Axeman: Redux (I know this is a re-dit of the original film but the title was, and still is the best thing about it). Although I know it will probably be a low budget affair, it still manages to conjure up images of classic eighties slashers with great death scenes and great gore. All this from the title alone, at least for me.

And the opening scene keeps in with that spirit. Very much feeling like a tribute to those eighties horror movies. Unfortunately it never manages to get to the heights of any classics, in fact it shares more in common with the eighties horror that is not so fondly remembered.

Lets starts with what’s wrong with Axeman: Redux. The writing comes across like it was written by a horny and immature teenager (to be honest I haven’t checked and this might actually be the case but that’s no excuse anyway). This means we get a lot of swearing, a lot of really unfunny ‘jokes’ and childish humour and some attempt at a love story that is super cheesy when it tries to somewhat serious. Don’t get me wrong either, I don’t mind childish humour when done right but in this movie it is painfully unfunny. There’s one serious WTF moment which I’m sure was supoosed to be hilarious but I didn’t find it so.

In addition to this, the characters are written so badly. Mostly cliched but also dull, almost all very unlikebale and with absolutely nothing to them. The actors aren’t completely awful but they’re fighting a lost cause with this script.

The major (and perhaps only) thing that the filmmakers get right here are the death scenes. They are surprisingly great. Occasionally inventive but always fun and full of blood. Skin and body parts are ripped apart – a particular highlight for me was a skull being half pulled off and then the brain grabbed and pulled out. All these scenes have pretty great practical effects and remain the only real reason to watch the film.

But, the killer himself – the Axeman – just isn’t very scary. He is just a tall guy in a cap, holding an axe. He is tall, big and strong but he just looks like a normal guy. Now, don’t get me wrong, killers come in all shapes and sizes. He didn’t necessarily have to have a mask or an outfit but he doesn’t have any kind of aura about him. No tension or sense of dread is built up around him and his kills. It’s disappointing.

When the title of your movie is the second best thing about it, you know you’re in trouble. You’ll hate the characters so much you just wont be bothered about then getting killed and you certainly wont want to see any of them survive. There’s plenty of good slasher movies out there and there’s plenty of fun eighties slashers to, so go watch some of them instead of this.

Axeman: Redux is out now. You can read our review of the original edit right here.

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