We’re a little under two weeks away from Halloween now. Give me a good scary movie to watch. Make it something new, something clever, something with throwback 80s effects but a 2019 sensibility.
Have you heard of The Furies?
No. Give me your best elevator pitch.
Running Man meets Friday the 13th.
Interesting, but can you give me some more recent film references, maybe some movies not made in the 80s?
Hunger Games meets Hostel? Battle Royale meets Cabin in the Woods?
So, there’s this evil international cabal which kidnaps women, puts a camera implant inside their eye, and then unleashes them into the woods where they’re hunted by a series of masked madmen who actually compete with each other to get the most kills. Or they’re actually trying to protect certain girls. Not clear at first. You have to watch to see where the movie goes with that.
What’s with putting a camera in each girl’s eye?
The main girl doesn’t know the answer at first so you don’t either. However, it’s a safe bet that the footage from the ocular implants is probably being streamed live online to dark web assholes.
Can’t the girls just run away?
There’s some kind of invisible fence keeping them from escaping, and they don’t really have weapons. They’re sitting ducks, basically.
Sounds pretty misogyni…
Wait. There’s a big twist. This latest round, something goes wrong. One of the girls – a timid epileptic named Kayla (Airlie Dodds) – somehow hacks or at least seems to hack – the video feed and can see what the stalkers see.
The hunter becomes the hunted?
You’re damn right. She uses that to not only save herself but also the other women stuck in the woods with her.
So, basically, The Furies is a feminist, revisionist slasher?
Pretty much. It’s still fairly brutal, though. Director-writer Tony D’Aquino definitely cribs from the Eli Roth Hostel playbook. The early kills are aggressively brutal in the obvious hope that the discomfort we feel at the sight of a woman having her arms torn off will translate into cheers when the tables are turned and the killers get their comeuppance. That might be a bit too much for certain audiences, but even if you have to look away during certain scenes it’s worth sticking it out to witness Kayla’s wrath.
Why does this sound so familiar?
Probably because The Furies clearly subscribes to the “it’s like [insert name of influential film] meets [insert name of another influential film] school of story construction. Plus, if you’ve sampled recent horror fiction or read any of the Cassie Hack Hack/Slash comic books you know that there’s been a strong run of revisionist feminist slashers as of late. The Furies feels like the work of people who adore Cassie Hack, Cabin in the Woods, and also couldn’t stop playing Friday the 13th: The Video Game and Dead By Dawn. It, ultimately, might not rise to the level of its influences but it’s a completely commendable effort with a kickass lead turn from Airlie Dodds.
How did you hear about this movie?
I was looking for a modern slasher with a twist and then I came across Carla Davis’ enthusiastic review of The Furies over at 1428Elm.
Where can I stream it?
Currently, The Furies is a Shudder exclusive.
31 Days of Halloween So Far:
- Day 1: One Cut of the Dead
- Day 2: Effects
- Day 3: Microwave Massacre
- Day 4: The Wind
- Day 5: Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key
- Day 6: Black Cat (1981)
- Day 7: In the Tall Grass
- Day 8: Creepshow (2019)
- Day 9: Thirst (1979)
- Day 10: Near Dark
- Day 11: Anna and The Apocalypse
- Day 12: Little Monsters
- Day 13: Rare Exports
- Day 14: Larry Cohen’s The Stuff
- Day 15: John Carl Buechler’s Cellar Dweller
- Day 16: Bone Tomahawk
- Day 17: The Host
- Day 18: Mimic: The Director’s Cut
- Day 19: Zombieland 2: Double Tap
Next Up: A new horror genre is born.