Ladies and gentleman, we have a contender. I have watched a lot of terrible films on Netflix, mostly, I tell myself, to review them. There is, of course, a perverse joy in watching terrible films, but there are some films that test even yours truly’s capacity for awful.
The B-roll of Los Angeles at night is quite good and the title cards are accurate. These are the only positives I can find in the absolute abomination that is passing itself off as a film, The Haunting of Sharon Tate. Everything about the man behind the camera and story and script, Daniel Farrands’ - I refuse to call him a filmmaker, director or writer on the strength of this - project, is bad.
When a middle-aged couple, Jessie and Gerald Burlingame (Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood) go to a remote location to try and spice their marriage. As they drive, Gerald nearly hits a stray, hungry dog on the path to the house. Gerald has brought handcuffs and takes a Viagra tablet, planning for a kinky night of rough passion. As he starts to play, Jessie becomes uncomfortable and demands he let her out of the cuffs.
Laura (Yvonne Strahovski), along with her daughters, Kayla and Maddie (real-life sisters Anna and Abigail Priowsky) are going to stay at a lake house, getting away from the city for the weekend. Her husband, Shawn (Justin Bruening) is delayed and promises to meet them later that night. The three ladies go ahead.
Less than five minutes into Deadly Detention, a Netflix teen horror flick, and I knew it was going to be eye-wateringly awful. It opens with a girl running from an unseen threat, along narrow corridors in an abandoned building. We get a title card: Three days ago. We are on a bus with five teenagers. They are being driven to Wayview prison by Pete (Kevin Blake), who has a shrine a deceased student, Jenny Duke on the dashboard. Wayview, an old, now closed, prison, is to be used for Saturday detention.
When asking someone to rate something between one and ten, a score below six would be considered poor. Even a five-point-nine would make you think twice about watching a show. It’s like less than three stars, you wouldn’t stay in a hotel with less than three stars.
Only five minutes in and I can see why this film scored three point seven on IMDB. Might be some sort of a record. Generally, I don’t critique acting, because actors are at the mercy of the director, script and one another. Being an actor is hard. The competition is fierce, the rejection constant, the availability of good, paying, projects rare.
Back in the late eighties, Peter Filardi wrote a screenplay that was started a mini bidding war. The story of medical students dying and bringing themselves back from the dead proved an enticing and intriguing premise, and Filardi’s Flatliners script was snapped up by Colombia pictures.
I am not a fan of horror. Never have been. Truth be told I’m a bit of a scaredy-cat. Ever since the opening scene of Christopher Lee’s bloodshot eyes in 1970’s Taste The Blood Of Dracula and an episode called Man From The South in Roald Dahl’s Tales Of The Unexpected, I have sworn off horror.