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August 26, 2016

Movie Review: Anna: Scream Queen Killer (2013)

Chemical Burn Entertainment. When that popped up on the screen I couldn’t help rolling my eyes and shuddering in disgust at the same time. My last experience with this production/distribution company brought me Piranha-Man vs. Werewolf Man. I still have nightmares... But once this flick got rolling, I was pleasantly surprised at its quality. Well, maybe ‘pleasantly’ is too strong a word. I didn’t vomit, let’s put it that way.

Anna: Scream Queen Killer is about Anna (duh), a well known horror actress who’s been called to audition for some upcoming work. It starts out normal enough - she works through several scenes calling for her to be infected by an alien virus, to become a vampire, be trapped and afraid, etc. But each scenario the director asks for becomes more and more twisted and sexual. She’s also required to remove more clothing each time. Though obviously uncomfortable, Anna continues to comply in hopes of getting the job.

As the audition process drags on (and on and on…), it seems the director just wants to get his rocks off but for Anna, the lines between reality and make-believe begin to blur.

I don’t really want to say much more about the plot, such as it is. If you read the description of this film, it makes the viewer think Anna is being put through tortures against her will then turns the tables on the director. But that’s not the impression I got at all. Yes, she was uncomfortable for some of the scenes and some of the director’s actions but Anna continued slogging through each one, only voicing her concerns or even anger once or twice. Otherwise she seemed to be having fun.

I think the point trying to be made is that women in this industry have to put up with a lot of degradation and bullshit to get work (not sure if the writers were hinting at the horror genre specifically or movie making in general). 

I am not an animal! I am a human being! Also the litter box needs changing.

The entire movie is carried by Melanie Denholme as Anna. She’s also the co-writer and co-director which makes sense, I suppose. I’ve never seen any of her work before but I have to say I was impressed. I actually felt uncomfortable when she did, laughed along with her at some of the silliness, and got angry with her. Granted, she’s a horror actress playing a horror actress who’s auditioning for films. Probably not that big of a stretch.

The pacing on this film was awful. I think it would have been better as a short. Not sure they needed an hour and fifteen minutes of the same thing over and over to get their point across. My attention drifted several times. Also the ending made absolutely no sense. I mean, I understand what they tried to do but the reasoning did not jibe with the characters on screen at the time.

Overall, I think they were trying too hard. The whole feel of the film was more art house wanna-be cool instead of an honest approach to a real message or idea. It’s definitely not the worst film I’ve ever seen but it’s barely average at best.

2 Hatchets (out of 5)

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