It is so rare these days when a payoff not only hits a home run, but makes the movie worthy in a whole. The Butcher Brothers independent film THE HAMILTONS is a truly unique horror film, which leads up to one final moment that is sure to leave you in a state of shock.
The Hamilton’s seem to be an ordinary American family, living in a small town in Northern California and dealing with the problems of everyday life. They’ve also been recently adjusting to the untimely death of their parents, but since have moved on. David Hamilton, the oldest, has taken it upon his shoulders to pick up the responsibility for the orphaned family. Twins, Wendell and Darlene are darker than the other two siblings and have become more conniving in the past few months. The youngest and most sensitive of the family is Francis. Francis recently found an old video camera his parents owned, using it to work on a school project about his family. It’s through Francis’s eyes that we soon get to know the Hamilton’s and realize that there are much more disturbing elements lurking below their surface of “ordinary.”
What’s so unique about the Butcher Brothers’ extremely low budget film is that it’s more of a coming-of-age story than an actual horror film. Sure there are teenage girls brutally tortured, and killed, but the story’s main focus is on Francis, one of the youngest of the siblings. He doesn’t quite fit in with his brothers and sisters. The entire family acts normal, but have a terrible secret… they’re killers. Francis knows this and watches in terror as these innocent girls die. You desperately long for him to escape, get help… or do something! Francis, played by Cory Knauf, is the strongest part of the film and is a phenomenal character. He’s portrayed so well that by the end of the film you are screaming for him to just stand up to his crazy family. What truly makes THE HAMILTONS a gem is that once we finally get to this liberating moment… well, I can’t tell you, can I? If you want to know this uber-secret, you’re just going to have to watch the film. But what makes this finale so Earth-shattering is that it completely flips the entire tone of the film and your perspective on THE HAMILTONS.
The film will be playing as part of Freestle Releasing’s After Dark Horrorfest (Nov. 17) and will have a special advance screening at this year’s Screamfest Horror Film Festival (Oct. 16) and I highly recommend that you go see this in the theater. There’s not much visually entertaining about it, but it’s nice to see such a well thought out and assembled story. Plus, how often do you get to see a coming-of-age horror story on the big screen- if at all? THE HAMILTONS is going to me that little film you talk about with your friends years after you see it and are proud to share with friends who have never seen it. It’s nice to see something a on a flip-side to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre films for once, which focuses on story instead of violence.