Directed by Brandon Tobatto [Other horror films: Hacked Up for Barbecue (2009), Loons (2016), Cottontail (2017), Sugarplum (2017), Madhouse (2020)]
For a lower budget film, Loon is okay. It’s not great, and it’s possible calling it good is a stretch, but there’s a somewhat interesting story here, and though I don’t think I’d go back to it, I can appreciate what they were going for.
Truth be told, I expected most of the film to deal with the group of friends going to explore an old carnival attraction – something like a lower budget version of Haunt. You can soon see that’s not where the film’s going, as it switches gears to focus on a police detective (Ryan Gray) and his attempts to go after the killer stalking the woods around the carnival attraction, which is at least different.
Obviously, being a film of this budget, some of the acting is not great. I do think that Tara Moates and Trevor Moates worked as siblings, and given the last names, it’s quite possible that’s the case. During the opening flashback, Kerissa Porter and Randy Porter were good also, and I thought it was sort of a shame that opening scene was all they got. Otherwise, no one really did that well – Ryan Gray had some okay moments, as did both Anne Tuck and John Nieman, but everything else was just ehh.
What’s more was some of the dialogue felt iffy, and the delivery especially stood out as lower quality. I don’t think that really hurt the movie as a whole – God knows I’ve seen worse in other films – but it was noticeable at times.
Also noticeable was the fact that, save for a kill toward the end of the film, there weren’t many kills here worth seeing. The killer primarily used a bat to beat people to death, which is good and all, but after a while, I can’t say it’s not a little repetitive.
Even so, from my understanding, the budget of Loon was around $100, and I know that they probably got more out of the money than I could have. I don’t think the movie’s good, but I do think they did well with what they had, and though there were aspects of the story I wasn’t a fan of (I would have liked it if Tara Moates and Trevor Moates had a bit more to do in the second half of the movie), it’s not a terrible film if you know what you’re going into.
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