April 2, 2018 A Place in Hell (Movie Review)
Ahh… Cherry Hill, New Jersey – home to the infamous Horror convention Monster Mania, and is also just a few minutes away from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The City of Brotherly Love. According to the new movie, which is called A Place in Hell, Cherry Hill, New Jersey is also known for having the first “black” serial killer! Confused? Mesmerized? Feeling uneasy from reading such a thing? Fear not, for what goes on in A Place in Hell is pure slapstick fun; melding together elements of Horror and Drama in a surprisingly effective way. The official DVD release for this fun chiller is April 3, 2018, courtesy Cinedigm and Synkronized Films.
Best Film winner of the Garden State Film Festival, and an official selection of the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, A Place in Hell comes at the audience like a semi truck going over 100-mph, without any brakes to stop its full force. Writer/Director David Boorboor conducted this little masterpiece while wearing many influences upon his bloodied sleeves, taking bits and pieces of other ideas and kneading them together to form his own recipe.
Boorboor tells the tale of a group of film students out to make a movie for a final grade at an old, “desolate” farm in Cherry Hill. While the students try real hard to get a straight ‘A’ for the project, they soon come to realize a very unfriendly someone-slash-serial killer has been hiding at this farm, and wants to photobomb every frame – CUT!
But that is not all! One of the most exciting things to happen to Horror comes in the form of Actor Lewis Smith (The Heavenly Kid 1985, Django Unchained 2012)! A fantastic actor portraying John McInnis: a grieving, very depressed ex-detective who has been after the elusive killer for 5 long (movie) years. As McInnis gets closer and closer to his subject, he will need to sober himself straight to get his man.
There is so much greatness going on in A Place in Hell that will make many moviegoers forget the amount of illogical doo-doo happening throughout the film, which mostly occurs during the times any of the students are in frame. “What are these illogical happenings?” someone might ask. To answer such an inquiry will ultimately ruin the charm and humor of the movie, but what is seen will definitely make someone go “Hmm…”
Of course the story involves almost every clichéd character ever written in the modern-day Horror manual, but it is how much charm and realness each actor puts into their cinematic souls that averts the brain from ever noticing! It is a shame that “word-count limits” exist because it would be an honor to mention every single actor involved in A Place in Hell. Every actor nails his and her part like it were nothing to them at all, like spreading smooth peanut butter upon soft, split-top wheat bread.
A couple of standout performances to mention comes in the forms of Actor/Producer Krista Robelle (Midnight Show 2016, Grindsploitation 2016), who, while almost stealing every scene, perfectly captures bratty, whiny, and narcissistic Hollie Monroe, a wannabe actress looking to be the next big thing; and also Actor Ed Cuffe (The Gentlemen 2007, Bluefield 2012), playing as Captain Links, a friend and former work buddy to McInnis. Cuffe portrays a sweetheart of a man with a rough-n-tough attitude (and a foul mouth full of funny lines!) who worries about the health and wellness of his friend McInnis. Ed Cuffe deserves much larger attention to how great an actor he is. He has been in many films, but mostly acting in “uncredited” roles.
As A Place in Hell moves along, viewers will be pleased to see it is chock full of surprise cameos from various actors who have put in 100% charm and conviction in what may have been only a day’s worth of work. There should also be extra points awarded to all the actors for keeping a straight face while sharing a scene with Lewis Smith, for his Detective McInnis character is absolutely hysterical, but a downright tearjerker during some of his more dramatic parts of the movie. Warning: there is one scene in particular involving McInnis and Captain Links that will cause so much laughter to occur, the sides of the moviegoer will split apart.
It is a shame this review is coming to a close because there is so much more greatness to mention. To be swift: the cinematography is so gosh-darned gorgeous. Every scene vibrant, clear, and colorful. The finale is a welcoming treat, too, and surprisingly great. Lastly, but certainly not least, is to mention the presence of Actor Antif Lanier who plays serial killer Harrison Graves: Lanier stepped to the plate with unreal professionalism, showcasing a deranged lunatic always on the prowl, which will soon become the newest addition to the schlocky, onscreen mass murderers, for which Horror fans have eagerly waited since the death of old-school Horror cinema back in the late-‘90s; a new addition that will be as fun to watch as Jason Voorhees ever was.
Kudos, hugs, and handshakes to the entire cast and production crew for helping Writer/Director David Boorboor hit a homerun with A Place In Hell. It is almost obvious that every person involved in the movie had a really good time, thanks to a fun-loving director. Every element (even the clichéd, doo-doo ones) of the film is exciting, sometimes creepy, and a lot of fun. Seeing Lewis Smith in action again is a real treat. Be sure to stay during the final credit roll to hear Singer/Songwriter Shelley Short perform her song “Caravan,” a hauntingly gorgeous tune which Composer Mark Orton helped to arrange.
All of this greatness is why CrypticRock gives A Place in Hell 5 out of 5 stars. Move over, Jason, make room for Harrison Graves.