It must be hard having a famous dad. Growing up in his shadow, wanting to make him proud, looking up to his success, and every day meeting people who say “Are you related to..?”
That’s how it must have been for poor little Cameron Romero the spawn of the king of the zombies himself, George A. Romero.
As the offspring of such a legendary horror director it was inevitable he would follow in his fathers bloody, rotting footsteps. As soon as Romero Junior picked up a camera the contacts, the help and most importantly the expert advise must have all flooded in.
Which leads one to wonder how come Staunton Hill, Cameron’s second feature, is such a boring, generic, laughable pile of filmic waste?
Who knows what went wrong? But seriously it is bad.
Badly directed, badly scripted, badly shot, badly acted, all of it bad and not even so bad its good. Just so bad, you want to switch it off and throw your DVD player and TV out the window at the next person who walks by in frustrated angry boredom.
Set in the 1969’s (purely in my opinion to justify the line when one character asks another if they have seen Night of the Living Dead) the plot, which I may have mentioned is bad, revolves around a group of hitchhiking teenagers. They are unwittingly led to a remote farm where a family of disturbed depraved inbreed maniacs reside, ready to mutilate anyone who happens to show up.
What was that I hear you say? Yes you’re right, that was just a write up of the plot of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and that’s one of the many dreadful things about this film, its utter unoriginality.
The same tedious unrealistically glamorous teenagers, the same religious murderous matriarch and the same retarded savant son who loves chopping people up. To make it worse all these undeveloped stereotypes are played by actors who can’t even deliver seemingly improvised dialogue believably.
Full of plot holes so big you could drive an articulated lorry through them and twists so obvious even the deaf and blind driver of that lorry could see them coming. Most criminally of all this movie is not scary in any way at all. Okay yes its gory, but if all you want is blood and surgical procedures I advise you watch Extreme Makeovers, because at least that’s more entertaining.
Staunton Hill is an awful abortion of a film, nearly as mind numbingly monotonous as it is drearily derivative, trite and terrible.
The proof that directorial talent cannot be passed on genetically, this filmic failure is made even worse by the fact that its made by Romero’s son. Growing up with his fathers movies you would have thought some of that genius would have rubbed off on him, that he would have learned what makes a good gruesome gripping horror film, and that he wouldn’t ever lazily cash in on his family name.
At the very least you would think he would have turned to Romero Senior for some help and advice. Maybe he did, maybe his dad hates him so much he told him it was brilliant.
Who knows, but more importantly who cares?
You would hope Cameron would now abandon film making and become a cobbler or a baker instead. But I have a horrible feeling he will carry on, and worse still his next film will probably be a zombie movie.
Additional film information: Staunton Hill (2009)