The Axe Murders of Villisca: Review

The Axe Murders of Villisca:
Review

Airman Glock

3.5 Stars

The first proper day of Other Worlds Austin 2016 started with “OMG, I’m a Robot?!” which Airman Xley reviewed. After that, however, we went our separate ways, and I took in The Axe Murders Of Villisca. The movie is about some high school kids with an obsession for the paranormal, who visit the haunted scene of a hundred-year-old crime and have to face whatever remains in the house.

But first, we were treated to the short film Catch, by Paul Cooke and Dom Rees-Roberts out of the UK. This film follows a father taking care of his sick daughter in the midst of a seemingly wide-spread outbreak. He seals her in her room so that he can stay healthy, and continue to cook and care for her. His love for her is obvious, as is his heartbreak at the situation. Eventually, he embraces the inevitability of the disease and joins her in enjoying what could be their last days alive.

Airman Glock

3.5 Stars

The first proper day of Other Worlds Austin 2016 started with “OMG, I’m a Robot?!” which Airman Xley reviewed. After that, however, we went our separate ways, and I took in The Axe Murders Of Villisca. The movie is about some high school kids with an obsession for the paranormal, who visit the haunted scene of a hundred-year-old crime and have to face whatever remains in the house.

But first, we were treated to the short film Catch, by Paul Cooke and Dom Rees-Roberts out of the UK. This film follows a father taking care of his sick daughter in the midst of a seemingly wide-spread outbreak. He seals her in her room so that he can stay healthy, and continue to cook and care for her. His love for her is obvious, as is his heartbreak at the situation. Eventually, he embraces the inevitability of the disease and joins her in enjoying what could be their last days alive.

Airman Glock

3.5 Stars

The first proper day of Other Worlds Austin 2016 started with “OMG, I’m a Robot?!” which Airman Xley reviewed. After that, however, we went our separate ways, and I took in The Axe Murders Of Villisca. The movie is about some high school kids with an obsession for the paranormal, who visit the haunted scene of a hundred-year-old crime and have to face whatever remains in the house.

But first, we were treated to the short film Catch, by Paul Cooke and Dom Rees-Roberts out of the UK. This film follows a father taking care of his sick daughter in the midst of a seemingly wide-spread outbreak. He seals her in her room so that he can stay healthy, and continue to cook and care for her. His love for her is obvious, as is his heartbreak at the situation. Eventually, he embraces the inevitability of the disease and joins her in enjoying what could be their last days alive.

Back to Villisca, which is a truly creepy movie, although I can’t say that it strayed far from the typical horror fare. It follows two recent high school graduates, who together have been filming and hosting a paranormal investigation show online. One of them, Caleb (played by Robert Adamson), is about to leave town for work, so he agrees to record one last show with Denny (Jarrett Sleeper), his friend since childhood. Before they depart, however, Caleb stands up to a dude harassing Jess (Alex Frnka), and she tags along with them to Villisca. Villisca is a town in Iowa that was the scene of a real-life crime. In 1912, an unknown assailant made his way into the Moore family house and killed the two parents and six children present, two of whom were guests staying the night. Several suspects were found, but not a single one was found guilty of the crime, nor was a motive established for any of them.

In the movie, the trio of Caleb, Denny, and Jess drive to Villisca and take an official tour of the site. However, they enrage one of the apparent owners of the property and are shooed away before they can finish. Denny, who is filming the tour, is especially frustrated that they had to leave. Jess shows her troublemaking side and convinces them to break in that night. They do so, and nothing seems out of the ordinary until the bully mentioned earlier arrives with his friend, who happens to be Jess’s ex. Due to either drugs or some other force, one bully stabs the other and starts a chain of events that gets wilder and more dangerous.

I won’t spoil the ending, although you can probably imagine what happens if you’ve seen any other horror movie. The characters were mostly likable and believable, but a bit generic. With the combination of flashbacks and random appearance of apparitions, I found the bulk of the movie to be confusing. Everybody obviously had trauma at some point in their lives, but neither that nor the history of the house explained just why the characters were acting in that way. It’s clear that several forces are opposing each other in the house, but I’m at a loss beyond that. None of that was too frustrating, since I just let myself accept what I was seeing and what was happening, and the visuals, the scares, and the characters all contributed to a solid movie.