Netflix teased all of us months ago with a bunch of horrifying clips, followed by a title that boldly said, “A Classic Horror Story” with the tagline reading ‘…it’s anything but.’ So when they revealed that this got released only about a week or so ago, I immediately jumped on it. The trailer promised “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” meets “Midsommar”, so we almost expected a folky-pagan torture flick.
And that’s exactly what we got… but not as fleshed out as it needed to be.
An RV full of traveling strangers become stranded one evening after an incident, and find themselves trapped in a nightmare much like a classic horror story. This story does give you all the tropes including pagan sacrifice, being lost in the woods, torture, and much more.. but it’s not as clever as it wants to be.
The very first act is super effective at setting up an atmosphere that oozes with creep. At one point they stumble upon three scarecrows representing deities – one whom sees no evil, one whom speaks no evil, and one whom hears no evil. Their displays and the lore that accompany the remainder of the story are genuinely creepy and it does a good job of catching you off guard. But the 2nd act has some big reveals, and I honestly rolled my eyes. From here on, the hype train was slowing down and the predictable, not-even-fun tropes began emerging. The last act of the film was a little less eye rolly but still not all that impressive.
The trailer shows a lot of stuff but hardly any context which makes it mysterious and exciting, and the context holds this film together better than it probably should’ve, but it’s a movie that definitely thinks its more clever and more intelligent than it actually is.. and instead of a dose of cheese you just get disappointment.
But as I said, the 1st act has a rather good set up, so the movie isn’t AWFUL, and I feel that whatever the directors do next has QUITE a bit of potential.. but I don’t think I’d revisit this classic story once again.
“A Classic Horror Story” is now streaming on Netflix.
‘Til Next Time,