|release date||September 12 2006|
|starring||Joshua Nelson, Elizabeth Cooke, Velocity Chyaldd, Kevin T. Collins|
You shouldn’t have fucked with Aunt Rose. Things were fine before that. You were on a killing spree, you had street clout, you were notorious.
It’s understandable – with your face plastered all over the news, you
needed a house to hide in until the heat cooled down. Its not your fault you picked old Aunt Rose’s house. But guess what. Now that you’ve
invaded her house, and slaughtered some of her family… its doesn’t matter that you’re the captors, because now, no one gets out alive.
Some critics just didn’t get it. I saw a review by Dread Central
ripping Aunt Rose a new exit. Not everything is polished, flawlessly acted, and widely accepted. There are runts in the genre that a lot of us equally respect, regardless of a poor quality video, badly acted,
underground effort. I, for one, don’t care, as long as it packs a violent punch, bares injuries that make me wince, and makes the effort worth sitting through. Hey Uncle Creepy – what would you have thought of Last House on the Left back in the day? Step off – the ancestors of that which we hold dearest within the genre all started out as ballsy, low budget experiments. Friday the 13th had characters we wanted to know more about? I think not. We wanted to see tension, death, and blood squirting spectacles. That’s what we got, and that’s what Aunt Rose delivers, from one of the better independent, low budget horror directors in the NY area right now – James Tucker (Eat Your Heart Out, Addiction).
Director James Tucker ingrains a certain amount of concrete, urban
flavor into his films. In both Addiction, and certainly in the beginning of Aunt Rose, lower grade digital cameras and a sometimes hollow tin can sounding audio, along with the yellow/blue lit city streets and hazy darkness tattoo these films with that on the street, home video feel. Many straight to video, low budget efforts have this as part of their shortcomings. Tucker genuinely uses this to his advantage, putting you there in a less doctored, more realistic sense that grips you when the story is working.
Yeah the acting is a weak at points, but what do we really care when it
comes down to it? Thugs don’t have much color to their persona, family members are usually drab, plaid dressed pieces of featureless furniture themselves, and old feeble, hermit aunts aren’t typically the life of
the party. And when there’s ditsy hookers, lame wannabe players and
nerds who cant do anything but seem awkward, they get off’d, ruthlessly, and this thrills a horror loving heart. As long as you’re not some pent-up critic looking to pick at flaws, there’s 90 minutes worth of scum in this low-budget DVD to nibble at.
In Aunt Rose, tough guy John (Joshua Nelson – Last Rites of the Dead)
and his two partners in crime, punk girlfriend Robyn (Velocity Chyaldd)
and kick around Stewie (Kevin T. Collins – Last Rites of the Dead) go
on a killing spree. They take out some cheesy, poser rocker with some
knives to the eyes, and then beat the living crap out of a stripper in a motel room. Unluckily for them, John’s face is all over the news, and
now they have to find a place to lie low. Unfortunately for young
Debbie, her girlfriend, and her family – its their home that they’ve chosen. Up in one of the bedrooms is bed-ridden Aunt Rose. She’s a recluse, sweet to her own, but very dark, John and his posse would have been better off not invading her home.
Joshua Nelson, who plays the lead baddie, wrote an exceptional
screenplay, which lifts Aunt Rose to above average, low budget heights. His story takes a full 45 minutes to introduce all the characters, and
although the screenplay wont win any attention, it should among those who can value the horror offerings of a good low budget, indie effort. You go along as John and his friends get themselves into a heap of murderous trouble, and you spend ample time sitting at the dinner table and in the living room with Debbie’s family, to the point where you’re wrapped up in their menial domestic affairs. By the time these Last House on the Left type killers make their way into the home and start cutting on the family, you’re entirely engrossed with how its all going to play out.
So this film would have stood pretty well on its own the way it was
thus far – but now you throw in one wickedly weird Aunt Rose – who plays with peoples minds, and lays there in the shadows of her bed, the lines on her face playing tricks with your eyes, as she weaves their demise. I wont go into just what happens, but once the family is hurt, she unleashes her wickedness, from psychological ghost games to vengeance from the grave. And there’s quite a surprise up in that rot stinking attic unveiled at the end. Add extreme violence and knifings that will make any horror buff wince and you’re in business. Its like a modern, respectful homage to 1970′s shockers like Last House on the Left or Funny Games without trying to be either.
Your honor? I’d like to point to exhibit M – James Tucker’s Aunt Rose. Further proof, sir, that our horror libraries are being made dense with quality and original efforts better than a lot of crud being dished to us all through the theaters. And to the members of the jury I say
this. Think for yourselves – don’t be sold by what you’re force fed on television because some producer had deep pockets. Do you want The Invasion, The Covenant, and Skinwalkers – or would you rather partake in Aunt Rose, Wrong Turn 2, and Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door? Should you have any taste whatsoever – any true darkness in your soul, then I trust your verdict will back that of this court – that low budget straight to DVD films are starting to produce quality horror Id watch any day, over that which they’ve been putting aimlessly into theaters. Check out Aunt Rose. I rest my case.