It’s really frustrating writing these reviews for the After Dark Horrorfest because I feel like I’m punishing an otherwise good DVD release for hitting theaters. But that’s the problem with the Horrorfest this year as everything is just “OK” and doesn’t really deserve to be in a movie theater. CRAZY EIGHTS is a prime example. The film is yet another in a long line of slow-paced, exposition heavy horror films lacking blood and gore. And the fact of the matter is that 99% of ghost films aren’t scary – EIGHTS is no exception.
Six friends reunite after 20 years at a mutual childhood friend’s funeral. A search through their deceased friend’s house reveals a map to a time capsule they buried some twenty years earlier which spurs the friends to find it and dig it up. After uncovering the trunk, the unexpected is found … the rotted remains of a child. A child from a past they’ve long forgotten, a child that begins to haunt their every waking moment and makes them question who they really are. The closer they come to remembering the circumstances of the mysterious child’s death, the closer they come to their own reckoning. The memory that will eventually kill them one by one is the same memory they need to discover to stay alive.
CRAZY EIGHTS stars Traci Lords, which right off the bat should give you an indication of what you’re about to see. Her acting is so incredibly bad at times it’s amazing that I even finished watching the film. The only strong performance comes from vet Frank Whaley (Vacancy), who can play a Jekyll and Hyde to perfection. Beyond the performances there really isn’t much there as the entire film is loaded with exposition. A horror movie is supposed to be visceral, not dialogue heavy, which is why CRAZY EIGHTS is so damn boring.
And even with some beautiful cinematography, the atmosphere can’t add any suspense to this lackluster little film. The big mystery surrounding the dead child isn’t enough to captivate an audience, especially because the film opens with an explanation of what we’re dealing with. It’s insane to me that they would give so much away before the opening credits are even over and yet it’s all there. If you can’t figure out the twists and turns before they happen you weren’t paying attention, which is bad in itself.
Like I said, if I rented this guy I think it would have made for an OK evening – but driving to a theater, forking out $11 for a ticket and then buying popcorn and a soda would make me furious. Don’t listen to me and see what happens, maybe you’ll find something more to it than I did?