From The Butcher Brothers, who gave us the festival favourite The Hamiltons, and the producers of Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre comes The Violent Kind, a home invasion horror with a supernatural kink that owes a big debt to Stephen King and Clive Barker.
The Violent Kind starts with three members of The Crew, an Oakland California biker gang, dealing drugs, bedding girls and beating each other to a pulp at a remote disused clubhouse. But events take a satanic turn for the worst when a supernatural force takes possession of one of the biker chicks and starts spreading its infectious nature amongst the fit-looking crew.
But there are more twists ahead (à la The Shining) when a gang of juvenile delinquents, missing for 50 years, return from beyond the grave. Headed by the sadistic Vernon (Joe Egender), these spectral deviants reveal their unholy plan – the birth of their queen and the arrival of their kind from the darkest void (shades of Clive Barker here). All of a sudden The Crew don’t look so tough anymore…
What starts out to be Sons of Anarchy meets Supernatural (Sam and Dean would fit right at home here) turns into a pretty decent twist on the usual horror formula as the warped story unfolds. The cast are all excellent in their roles, particularly Egender as the deranged, but likeable Vernon, while the production values are better than expected, particularly the make-up effects.
I won’t give anything else away, but the climax is a real surprise – though I’m still unsure as to whether The Butcher Brothers went a little too far? You be the judge, and tell me what you think.
Favourite line: ‘You tried to eat Elroy’s face, honey!’
Pete’s Verdict (out of 5): ***
Out on DVD from July 25 through Metrodome