Directed by Norman J. Warren [Other horror films: Satan’s Slave (1976), Prey (1977), Terror (1978), Inseminoid (1981)]
This British film was a bit of a mess, and that’s probably being kind.
At times, Bloody New Year felt like a silly version of Poltergeist, only not nearly as enjoyable and generally a lot more pointless. Theoretically, the movie could have had potential, but it’s pretty hard to tell looking at this final product.
Really, Bloody New Year is just odd. There’s a little charm in the various oddball dangers the group of friends face (such as a biting bannister, a killer vacuum, invisible laughing people, etc.), but even when things are tied together at the end, it doesn’t really do much to help.
The cast is pretty much entirely forgettable, which may not be a big surprise, but at the same time, at least one or two cast-members tend to stand out in a movie, so the fact that none did here was somewhat bothersome.
I don’t exactly know who this movie would be best for. Sure, it’s an 80’s obscurity, by-and-large, but it’s by no means a hidden gem, and while there’s some over-the-top scenes here, I don’t think it really gets wild enough to come across as that memorable. Perhaps during certain scenes, in the moment, I enjoyed watching them. But overall, the movie’s pretty poor, and an interesting setting (a deserted island) doesn’t much forgive the other flaws this British flick possesses.
This is one of the films covered on Fight Evil’s podcast, so if you’re interested in hearing myself and Chucky (@ChuckyFE) discuss this one, give it a listen.