Cinema/TV, Film Notes

FrightFest review – Thorns

FrightFest review – Thorns

If Event Horizon was Hellraiser in Space, then Thorns is Event Horizon back on Earth – done on the cheap, with a minimal cast.  By now there have been so many cameos recorded on mobile devices or over zoom for cutting into movies that the old joke about a performance being phoned in has lost its sting – and former cenobite Doug Bradley does his best to up the ominousness quotient as an archbishop who keeps uttering ambiguous, apocalyptic sayings while very few people run around an isolated observatory which is linked up with a long-forgotten spaceprobe that now seems to have discovered Hell on a new planet at the edge of the solar system.  The archly-named Gabriel Goodman (Jon Bennett), a one-time priest who’s now a boffin for NASA, is investigating some issues with the observatory and finds the place plastered with pages from the Bible and graffitied with significant numbers by mute nun Sister Agnes (Cassandra Schomer).  One sign of impending apocalypse is that all sorts of priests and nuns have lost their voices, though the archbishop keeps wittering on – which might prompt casual viewers to wonder which team he’s playing for.  Also around is Dr Malik (Bo Shumaker), who found alien worms in his eyes in a gruesome prologue and transforms into the Necronaut – a gash-mouthed, bound-with-thorny-fetish-straps fiend who could be a cenobite from one of the non-theatrical Hellraiser sequels.  Writer-director Douglas Schulze – of the Mimesis films and The Dark Below – always has a lot of bright ideas, but there’s a little too much runaround corridors with a monster here, as if this were episode four of a six-part 1960s Doctor Who serial which didn’t have enough story to fill the slot, and it’s hard pressed to evoke global catastrophes with stock footage snips and voice-over mumbling.

Here’s the FrightFest listing.


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