PLOT: While waiting for a power outage to end, a husband passes the time by telling his wife a set of scary stories set in a part of the Maryland woods known as “The Terrortory”.
It’s hard for me to give this one a rating. On the one hand, this is a super low budget movie that has student film production values. This seems like a movie where most of the people involved didn’t get paid. The movie obviously suffers for the lack of money behind it: the digital quality is prosumer, the audio is pretty dreadful in most of the vignettes, and the acting is what you’d expect from a senior thesis film. On the technical side, this movie fails miserably.
On the other hand, these people made a feature-length movie, and seemed to have fun doing it, and honestly, some of the stories work. Don’t get me wrong: I think the vignettes lack in variety from one to the other. By the third short that takes place in the same wooded area, you’re begging for a new setting. On top of that, there’s very little variety concerning the stories or the characters that are in each vignette. They’re hikers, campers, a film crew shooting a horror movie, another film crew shooting a horror movie, or a hunter. It becomes monotonous.
The stories are hit and miss, at best. I truly enjoyed the meta segment “The Midnight Clown”, which is a found footage film about a film crew going out to the woods to film a found footage movie. “Smiling Jack” also adds a twist to the standard “killer-stalking-prey” motif. There’s also one about some sort of siren that keeps asking “Did you bring me meat?” before she winds up eating a hunter and a really stupid one about killer drones (which also has some of the funniest moments of spontaneous parkour in a movie), but that’s all pretty standard for anthology films. Some segments work, some don’t.
This one does an okay job at some gore effects, specifically in “Smiling Jack”, where Asian Rob Schneider gets disemboweled. There are a lot of throats getting cut in it, and there’s a pretty abysmal moment of CG blood in the first vignette, but otherwise, it gets a passing grade.
Gore Rating: 3 out of 5
The wraparound story is a pretty good home invasion story that kind of goes off the rails at the end, but I thought “The Midnight Clown” was very affective and unnerving; the other stories… not so much.
Scare Rating: 2 out of 5
You get some shots of some boobs, but we’re not talking Vampyres here. I hope the actresses got paid for it, because this feels like a film in which very few people got a check. The siren in “Siren” is wearing basically nothing and then there’s a shot of some nudity in “The Midnight Clown”, but you also get to see a guy’s ass in “The Prowler”.
Sex/Nudity Rating: 2 out of 5
This movie is all about keeping an open mind, because if you let the production values sway you, you’re going to turn this off immediately. The audio is a travesty to the ears, and what’s worse is that it’s even terrible in the wraparound story; you know, the one story that takes place indoors. Otherwise, I appreciate the filmmakers going out and making a movie that they wanted to make, which can be difficult, so I can’t be too hard on it. A lot of people praise Kevin Smith for making the movies that he wants to make, and he’s got millions of dollars in his back pocket.
Terrortory is a prime example of movie making, and now distribution) becoming completely democratic. I applaud Amazon Prime for being somewhat of a champion of this movement. This might not be the greatest film I’ve ever seen, I was more entertained by this than some other movies that I watched during this month.
Hey man, thanks for checking it out! Just curious–what did you watch on? (computer/TV/phone?) And yeah, this was SUPER low budget–a labor of love, really.
Thanks for reaching out! I watched most of it on my phone and then finished it up on my TV.
Keep up the good work. There were definitely moments I enjoyed. Really liked “The Midnight Clown” (and it’s super timely right now) and I dug the stinger at the end, which didn’t make it into my review; made me chuckle.
Ah cool. Always happy to hear from people, and I’ve never minded complaints that are valid. (my question about what did you watch it on is because I keep hearing people say we shot on “iphones” or “90’s camcorder”, and I’m trying to figure out why. We shot on nice cameras, but I’m suspicious everybody’s watching the movie on their phone with a rough connection, which will make the picture look terrible. and won’t help the sound, which I admit can be dodgy in places)
I envy you–wish I could cram in a horror movie a day!
Thanks, it’s the one month a year where I can find the drive to do so. Writing the reviews is even more difficult.
The nice thing about Amazon Prime is that if you’re on WiFi, you can download the movie directly to the app, which takes care of any streaming problems. I predominantly watch them on my commute, so it’s next to impossible to watch these without doing so ahead of time, which is why a large percentage of my watching this month have come from Amazon Prime.
For what it’s worth, I don’t think your film looks bad; it looks like it was shot on digital, but not bad. I think naturally, without a Hollywood budget, digital still has its limitations, especially with lowlight and highlight situations, and situations where you need to rely on natural lighting. Back when I was in film school, people would put terrible filters on their digitally-shot movies to make it look like film, but they just wound up looking soft.
Yeah, I checked on the download thing a week ago on my kindle–the movie looked pretty bad, claimed it was like 400megs which explains it. The movie’s actually about 14 gigs in size when streamed properly. I’ve seen other reviews that say it looks like we shot on on iphone or a “90’s camcorder”, and they have to have watched the flick on a terrible connection. Every segment was shot with a nice DSLR…heck, one was shot in 4K. I actually have a blog where I note what every segment was shot on.
If you’re curious it’s here: http://indyfilmmakeradvs.blogspot.com/
The 2nd post(called “Terrortory at #9 and Reviews”). Just one of the blogs I keep to show the thinking behind what we do.