REVIEW BY JOE X YOUNG
This is a mixed review; stick with it as in spite of what I start off saying, this is actually a good film. I am not sure if it is just me, but I am increasingly aware that the majority of horror films which I have seen lately are unable to deliver the full package expected. There’s quite a bit about pitchfork which doesn’t sit well, the plot is the basic bunch of young people escaping the maniac, and for the most part even that is decidedly poor. The acting is of varying quality, as is dialogue in most cases. The technical aspects of the film are spot on, with opening landscape shots being beautifully lit panoramas David Lean would have been proud of, indeed the entire production is fantastic, with a great score, perfect sound editing and much better than average special effects.
The initial setup is a throwaway plot device with a country boy who moved to New York heading back to the country with several friends in tow, part of the reason being that he has just come out of the closet and need some emotional backup as his dad disapproves of his son’s preferences. The other part of the reason appears to be that the country boy promised his New Yorker friends a barn dance, which turns into more of a disco. This all came across as a bit silly, totally unnecessary as well as unrealistic. I was almost tempted to turn it off but as I’m committed to watching everything to the bitter end, I stuck with it and was glad I did.
It’s not often that a new ‘slasher’ comes along who is actually bringing something interesting to the genre, so when the eponymous monster makes his appearance it’s actually highly welcome and refreshing.
Pitchfork is a lean mean slashing machine, very animalistic, and yes in true slasher tradition he wears a mask, which to me looks is if he skinned a dog to wear part of its muzzle. His weapon of choice is, yes you guessed it, a pitchfork, but in this instance it is just the tine end which is secured with barbed wire to the stump where his left hand should be. He is fast, brutal and highly efficient, which unfortunately means he is somewhat wasted in a plot which is a bit of a dog’s breakfast.
The usual terrors are there, the capturing and torturing of the teens, plenty of nastiness and gore. There’s a backstory to how ‘Pitchfork’ turned out the way he did, which is acceptable if nothing special. The one thing it does which doesn’t happen much in this sort of film is that there’s a younger character in danger, country boy’s little sister in this instance, and Pitchfork takes her prisoner and keeps her in a makeshift cage so her fate can be decided upon later. I won’t spoil things by telling you what happens with the little girl, as it is a great twist, one which my inner voice was cheering over.
The look of the film is great, the acting and script not so much for the majority, but Pitchfork himself and the little girl make this film stand out. I think it has the potential to introduce at least one new cult character to the horror pantheon, and it would be a shame if that didn’t happen.