• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

R.O.T.: Reunion Of Terror

TITLE: R.O.T.: Reunion Of  Terror

YEAR: 2008

GENRE: Horror

Independent horror film making is a hash field in that there are a slew of crazed fans and critical teenagers who love to smash these films into oblivion just because of their low budgets and subsequent production values. Granted, it is true that most of these films are pure unadulterated schlock, but these fans fail to see is that some of these films are downright excellent. Films such as Scrapbook and The Zombie Apocalypse show some creative ideas and can inspire much more prominent producers and directors into creating better Hollywood productions. Although nowhere near as good as Scrapbook, R.O.T.: Reunion Of Terror does show some glimmers of excellent but usually falls into the zero-budget shortcomings expected by most fans of the genre.

Five twenty-something people gather together after their ten year high school class reunion to reminisce about old times. The five some—prom queen and all-around catty Amanda (played by Monique Barajas), dumb jock B.J. (Mark Carducci), all-around good girl Michelle (Nori Jill Phillips), token black guy Tyrone (L.J. Green), and redneck goofball Jimmy (Christian Anderson)— along with slutty hitchhiker Celia (Hallie Bird) travel to a cabin deep in the woods t escape their adult lives and party down. Along the way they run into a park ranger (John Shumski) who hits on the college aged girls and threatens to arrest the guys. The crew discovers that a mysterious killer is prowling the woods and is stalking the group. As the group drops one by one the survivors discover there is a method to the madness of the deranged psychopath and that revenge is a dish best served soaked in blood.

R.O.T.: Reunion Of  Terror definitely suffers from its $22,700 budget is a typical stalk and slash piece of horror trash, but it does deliver some redeeming qualities. On the negative, the plot is rehashed from literally dozens of 1980’s horror films and most of the film lacks any originality. Splatter fans will find nothing to see with R.O.T.: Reunion Of Terror as the effects are downright poor and lack any real gore as most of the kills are delivered off-screen. The actors are compiled from local Z-grade film veterans and people whose resumes consist of uncredited extras, so the thespian work is less than desired but not god-awful. The filming does attempt to be fairly creative with some flashback scenes and shots from the killer’s perspective but overall comes across as standard fare. There is a lesbian sex scene that offers nothing to the overall story yet is brought up over and over again which detracts from the overall storyline. What does work for R.O.T.: Reunion Of Terror is a great musical score from Joseph Butera III and Ryan Copt that actually helps create what little atmosphere the film delivers. The best aspect of the movie is the last ten minutes where the killer and his/her intentions are delivered, and it is an excellent twist ending. It is also an interesting moral of personal responsibility for our own actions, and the last couple minutes was a great definition of real terror from shirking one’s accountability. In addition, the opening credits look great and add to the overall production.

Michael Hoffman Jr. (Spring Break Massacre, Girls Gone Dead) does deliver a few great ideas in R.O.T.: Reunion Of Terror, but the majority of the film reeks with ripped off plots and stereotypical kills. This one is worth watching for the die-hard horror junkie who has to see everything as it does have some original ideas, but there is not much more for more casual fans.

* *

–Mark

 

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