Monday 28 March 2022

REVIEW: Stoker Hills (2022) - Starring David Gridley, Vince Hill-Bedford and Steffani Brass

Review by Jon Donnis
From director Benjamin Louis come Stoker Hills, a horror film about three college students, Ryan (David Gridley), Jake (Vince Hill-Bedford) and Erica (Steffani Brass) who as part of their college degree decide to make a horror movie set in their small town of Stoker Hills. But before they even get going, Erica is thrown in a car and kidnapped, Ryan and Jake chase after them, but they escape.

While exploring a forest nearby, they find an old seemingly abandoned building, inside they come across mutilated bodies and medical equipment.

We see much of this action through the "found film" they were using at the time. But this isn't all Blair Witch self-filmed horror, we cross to the detectives who are examining the film, we switch between the detectives investing and the tapes themselves as the film progresses. Will the detectives find the kids in time? Who is the kidnapper? Watch the film and find out.

Strong performances from David Gridley, Vince Hill-Bedford and Steffani Brass who carry the film, which is clearly on the lower budget side of Hollywood. And although the film is pretty standard fair, there is a nice twist at the end, which you would expect from any half decent horror.

Now unfortunately for the person I was watching the film with, I spoiled the ending completely by accident pretty early on, when I called the twist. Now I am not saying it is obvious, as it is not, but I do have a knack of spotting twists way before they are revealed. I spoiled The Sixth Sense at the cinema for the entire group I was with. So, my advice is if you watch this film with others, make a deal before it starts for everyone to be quiet.

One complaint with the film is the name, why on earth would you put the word "Stoker" in the title, and not have a film about Vampires? Was this done on purpose? Who knows, just seems a bit silly to me.

Worth noting a nice touch that when you are watching the found footage, it is full screen, and then when you are watching the detectives investigating or any other part of the film you have the black bars top and bottom of the screen.

The Good
A fun horror film, with a fun twist. Great performances from the 3 main characters, and always good to see Horror icon and Candyman star Tony Todd with a smallish part in the film.

The Bad
I kind of ruined the film for myself by guessing the twist way too early. Totally my own fault for watching way too many films over the years.

Definitely worth a watch on a Saturday night, not the scariest horror film you will ever see, but one you will find yourself enjoying.

I score Stoker Hills a solid 8/10