Flay (2017) Movie Review

Directed by Eric T Pham
Written by Matthew Daley
Starring Elle LaMont, Dalton E. Gray, Johnny Walter, Violett Beane, Noé de la Garza

“After the death of her mother, an estranged daughter struggles to save her brother, and those around her from a malevolent faceless spirit.”

Despite what the misleading poster wants you to think, the first thing you should know about this movie is that it is about a chain. A killer chain. We know it’s a killer chain because of the red-tinted POV whenever anyone goes to touch it. These aren’t fancy chains, they’re just your standard haunted object chain that exudes a rippling CGI visual distortion chain. According to the intro monologue and montage an old Indian shaman was captured, chained and had his face flayed off so he put a curse on the chain as revenge. None of this was explicitly shown, in fact nothing is really explicitly shown in the movie.

If we compare this film to the Don Dohler’s formula of Blood, Boobs and Beasts we get a few drops of blood in the True Blood copycat title sequence. There are ample amounts of cleavage shots and even a flash of side-boob. And the beast? Well, you know what Slenderman looks like right? Just add more distracting CGI distortion to his face and you’ll get the idea.

Once out of the title sequence, the whole old Indian shaman flaying thing is discarded until tenuously recalled in the last fifteen minutes of the movie.
What we get for the most part is a bunch of admittedly earnest and sincere actors trying their best within their cliched roles. We’ve got the stoner, the slut, the nerd, the older sister, the handsome cop and a mother who dies by jump scare. It’s the soundtrack that is the real star here though. Hardly original but in keeping with the rest of the movie. It’s full of all the classic horror movie score tropes but elevates the film above it’s limitations with a solid sense of atmosphere. Although the film relies too much on the music to build the tension rather than what’s on screen.
The main problem is that this film it has many potentially great ideas and motifs that aren’t really connected that well throughout the story or just dropped altogether. There’s the haunted chain, an ongoing spooky water motif and there’s “Slenderman” and his soaking wet, long black haired and voyeuristic pal who is also afflicted with the same distorted facial CGI curse. These elements come and go through out but all seem disjointed until explained at the end.

What really hamstrings this film is it’s over reliance on CGI embellishment.
For all it’s faults, this film still has it’s own charm and sense of humor and stands proud on it’s PG-13 feet. I just wish there was more flaying. Might be time to rewatch Martyrs.

Flay is on VOD March 6th.

Flay Movie Opening Title Flay Movie Screenshot - Haunted Chains Flay Movie Screenshot - Heroine vs Bogeyman Flay Movie Screenshot - Typical Teen-kill Characters


All screenshots taken from the trailer.

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Review for Savage

Review By: Amanda Blake of Horror Movie Freaks

Director: Emir Skalonja

This movie starts out with a little explanation of how the world has gone into an apocalypse, a modern-day apocalypse. It’s not your typical end of the world, here come the zombies type of apocalypse either. It is a very believable scenario, where the world has gone into anarchy and people are out for themselves. In particular, you have a small group that the movie is centered on that consists of a man, pregnant woman, and their friend. On the other side you have a small group of hungry cannibals (no, not zombies, I already said that).

I love that this movie was very realistic, there was some cheesy parts, but that’s what makes a movie great. You definitely have to have those bits. The fighting even had me on edge. It was so realistic and the characters did not have unlimited stamina. You know, they have this incredible wire work fight, jumping off walls and over people, never ever get tired out, always the same. Not this movie.

The soundtrack was absolutely killer. It was a little overbearing on what dialog there was, some parts were harder to hear than others, but really did not affect the movie itself. That’s another thing, it was not filled up with a bunch of dialog that wasn’t needed. It was very straightforward.

The survival style was also awesome. You had the people that went out and scavenged for food, then you had the “others”. They preferred their food raw and bloody. I mean, if you were out on your own with no other way to eat, how are you going to eat? These guys were very resourceful. This brings me to another part, being resourceful. Another much needed piece to a good survival movie. The guy didn’t run around with a gun, with unlimited ammo (how annoying when that happens, right?). He used a knife and his fists for the most part. He grabbed what he could along the way, as you watch the hunted become the hunter.

Overall, this movie was filmed uniquely and made it one of a kind. I really enjoyed it myself. It was well done. I was left wanting to see more and hope to see more someday.

I give this movie an 8/10! It’s definitely worth a watch, especially if you’re looking for a good, violent survival movie! 

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Hollywood Vs. The Indie Filmmaker

These days we have so many big budget blockbuster films hitting us at every angle, that the true unseen genius passes us by almost without a thought. The art of independent film making has turned into the last bastion of true original content for filmmakers, and those of us who want to see something more original. Don’t get me wrong, the Superhero Blockbusters and Science Fiction Epics are fantastic to watch and experience, but the love of originality is fading from Hollywood. The suits in Hollywood would rather latch onto a title that has already been made once, or onto a Comic Book or some other form of written word for their next film, instead of looking to those in the Indie world for new and original content.


We have filmmakers out there however, like George Cameron Romero, Michael Junkin, Matthew Ward, Conrad Faraj, Itai Guberman, Kyle Hester and so many others, that see the issue and are all working towards bringing more new and original content to the people. I for one cannot wait. Cameron Romero, just announced “Rise of the Living Dead”, a prequel to 1968’s “Night of the Living Dead”, which was filmed by his father George A. Romero. Cameron aims to show us a film that is right up there with Night, and with George A. Romero, calling the script “genius”,  I think it is a safe bet that that will be exactly what we get. Matthew Ward just wrapped on his latest Feature film, “The Rave”. He had Conrad Faraj (“Little Thieves”, “The Colours of Desire”, “You Will Go Darker”) working on Camera, and Michael Junkin as his Second Assistant Director. I for one was on set for several scenes and I can say “The Rave” Will be a true Indie offering. Michael Junkin is as well writing shorts and features and I am quiet sure they will be excellent stories brought to film.


So what is an Independent Film and what is a Hollywood Blockbuster? The main difference comes down to budget and resources. A Hollywood film can get upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars and all the resources they need, just a phone call away, while Indie filmmakers have more obstacles to deal with. Obstacles like having to crowdfund your entire film project, or endless meetings trying to find investors to help reach the budget as well. Once you get the budget, there is still the fight of getting everything you need together. The cast, the cameras, lights, audio recording gear, the list goes on and on. So a Hollywood film can get a massive budget and a nice length of time to film in, while an Indie project may only get a few thousand dollars and have to film everything in 14 days. The challenges offered to Indie Filmmakers, means they are going to pour more heart and soul into their production than most Hollywood films would even attempt today.


One of the biggest areas for Indie Film making falls in the Horror Genre and there is no shortage of ideas out there. Its getting them filmed and distributed that is the biggest obstacle. An obstacle I see several filmmakers dealing with for whatever projects they are working on. You can find an active GoFundMe for Kyle Hester’s “Preacher Six” at the Preacher Six GoFundMe you can even find a Patreon account where you can learn and get tips from George Cameron Romero over at George Cameron Romero’s Patreon, where getting in on one of these would be a great thing for any budding filmmaker.


You want to know the great thing about Crowdfunding an Independent film? Its a way for the little guy, the viewer, YOU to get in on the ground floor of a movie! Depending on the level you pay in on the film, you can get all kinds of sweet benefits. Name in Special Thanks, your own Producer Credit listed on IMDb, walk on rolls, speaking parts, signed copies of scripts and so much more. Now, I’m not telling you to not watch your favorite Superhero, or to go enjoy a couple of hours watching dog fights in space between awesome star fighters. I’m merely suggesting you take some time and go outside of your comfort zone and watch an Indie film. You might be surprised how a film that only took $5,000.00 can touch you even deeper than a $50,000,000.00 film can.

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The Birth of Change: Trinity Studios L.L.C. and the Future of Film

At the beginning of October, just a few days after Scarefest, production began on a film titled “The Rave”. This offering of film came from Matthew Ward for his second film as director. The set for this film brought together not only Matthew Ward, but Logan Smith, Michael Junkin and Amber Junkin. Through this film, they created a bond. This bond would lead them into the creation of not just a film studio, but the first one to ever be based in Kentucky. Trinity Studios L.L.C..


While their first love is horror, this studio will produce much more than that. Films of every genre, commercials, music videos and maybe one day animated productions. Having known Michael for over a decade and Matthew Ward for the better part of one, I already knew how dedicated they are. The two I’ve just recently met (Amber and Logan), have already shown their dedication ten fold. This studio is being run by people who love film and want to see it grow.


Along with Trinity Studios, there is the continuing growth of a movement called “New Hollywood”. Independent filmmakers and studios who are trying to push original content. Content that Hollywood tends to overlook for more derivative films. You can only crank out the same stuff for so long before people get sick of it and look for something new and fresh. “New Hollywood” needs to keep growing and needs to get more notice to itself. Trinity Studios will help do just that. Not only for New Hollywood, but for the film industry that is growing in Kentucky. Now with a state based studio to work with, it’ll be even easier for Filmmakers to bring their projects to Kentucky.


Why film in Kentucky? You have such a wide range of areas to use. Everything from small towns, to countless miles of forest. There are dedicated people in most areas who will work any and every job a film set could have. There is now access to a film studio and  dedicated people, for local, national and international filmmakers.


If you would like to get in touch with Trinity Studios for business inquiries, reach out to

Amber Junkin




**Note: At the time of writing, Trinity Studios, is still building their Social Media presence, so links to the website, Facebook and Twitter will be announced as soon as they become available.

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