Knucklebones tries hard to stake its claim in slasher history from the very beginning.
With its key objective being to create a memorable monster that will stay in our minds after we leave the cinema, it’s the summoning of Knucklebones himself in a Nazi laboratory that greets us.
Flash forward a few generations and we meet Lisa Avery (Julin), a teenage girl with a delicate mind that is struggling to cope with the split with her boyfriend.
After attempting suicide, her best Samantha friend feels that a late night ghost hunt in an abandoned warehouse with another girl and a couple of jocks will cheer her up.
Before long the teens find their way into the belly of the building and while the alcohol and testosterone flows, they take more risks – the climax of this being summoning the demon known as Knucklebones.
As they try to escape from this terrible mistake, Knucklebones stalks them down, barbarically smiting any unfortunate teen that he finds.
And as other external characters join the party, it becomes clear that Lisa is going to need to use to extreme means to make it out alive.
Knucklebones is a straight up, simple, formulaic slasher movie that will entertain or irritate you depending on which side of the fence you sit.
Most of its elements will seem very familiar, from the punchline delivering, gravel voiced, lumbering killer, to the spotlessly perfect and aesthetically enhanced dumb teens.
The dusty, amber lit warehouse is reminiscent of Freddy’s boiler room. And the kills – though creative – aren’t anything that Adam Green fans won’t have seen before.
The film is very well shot, with a filmic quality that would rival any mainstream release. But unfortunately the performances of one or two of the cast damage that illusion. And when more characters are nonsensically added to the fray it’s hard to keep focus on the film what with all the eye rolling that is bound to involuntarily afflict you.
There is some fun to be had, and and lulls in activity are short and sweet. But speaking as one that’s had his fill watching schlocky teens running around dark industrial labyrinths whilst being pursued by an immortal psychopath summoned by Nazi’s – the novelty soon wore off.
If you are a fan of low story, high gore horror, and you have an open mind you might enjoy it. If you want to see something inventive, new, and interesting it’s best that you head elsewhere.