Saturday, October 18, 2014

Movie Night at the Rec Hall – Chemical Peel

-Contributed by Luke Merrill

This week at Horror Camp we had the pleasure of viewing the Movie ‘Chemical Peel’ released to video earlier this month. And I have to say it has been a while since I have seen a horror movie that had so well boiled down the genre to just the essentials. No over the top killers, no paranormal activity, no need for pursuits, this movie has none of that. Just a house full of panic-stricken women trapped together in excess of 48 hours without a man in sight to calm them.

You'll never make it through the night, bitch!
It sounds horrible, and I certainly would have never watched the movie if I had known what it was about. But don’t kid yourself; Chemical Peel is the equivalent of a Lifetime Original movie with all the gross out gore you can stomach. I know that sounds terrible in and of itself, but the backstabbing the catfights, the crying! Oh the sweet crying! It’s all there and it terrific!

That's caged heat, boyo!
The premise is simple. A group of girlfriends get together to celebrate their friend’s bachelorette party at a secluded house in the outskirts of their old home town.  An unfortunate accident releases a noxious gas that blankets their valley overnight, and the women are trapped in the house with no one to save them but themselves! Fear quickly pervades the household as hope of rescue dwindles with the passing hours, and half baked theories are thought up ranging from terrorist attacks to engineered government super viruses, even a reference to a contagious Ebola outbreak! Any, if not all, of these theories being simultaneously true.

One thing is certain, that gas is no joke. Caught directly in it and you only last for a matter of minutes, and it is slowly seeping into the house making these poor women look all the more unpretty every time they tear up. Which is almost constantly. But the real killer isn’t the gas it’s DRAMA, and there is plenty of that abound. The movie is a real nailbiter, and the head bitch in charge is Such a BITCH, OMG!

Always be prepared for your Sun family outing!
To be fair these women have a reasonable amount of things to be worried about and handle themselves well. If the situation were reversed and a group of fraternity men were stuck in that house they would get themselves killed much faster trying to one up each other and play hero. To their credit, the women in Chemical Peel actually do go from ripping into each other to helping each other. Like most people they are just caught wholly unprepared for a scenario as severe as the one they found themselves in, and quite reasonably start to freak out.

I'm supose to be getting married tomorrow!
This is why I like Chemical Peel as much as I do. Being a participant of a Horror Movie you always have this edge. As viewer you can say, “You shouldn’t do this, or don’t do that”, but the viewer always has the comfort of being in a relatively calm state and watching the movie from a secure location. Modern Horror is combating this stance by playing up an old concept. Let them be sensible, a person or group of persons who can evaluate a situation and make a plan of attack in confronting their fears. This isn’t new but the approach takes some of the terror edge of the pursuit away from the overall feeling of the movie.

This can be annoying.

 It’s a nice sentiment and a step in the right direction for some pictures. I just feel like you end up losing some of the enjoyment of some flicks because in the end, you want to feel superior to the characters on the screen. You want to have the ability to say, “That would never happen to me because I would never let my fears overcome me” Even though the reality of the situation is you probably would. Chemical Peel reminded me of that, and I recommend watching it with a loved one or close girlfriend with some red wine and some popcorn. 

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