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Cherry Falls (2000)

Given my love for the 90's/early 00's slasher era, this is actually a first time watch for me. It is a film I was more than aware of and had a basic idea of the premise... or at least I thought I did. However, for one reason or another this film continuously kept passing me by. It's only a shame I no longer live in a world where I assumed this was a hidden gem of the 2000's.

Director Geoffrey Wright has a rather limited list when it comes to directing credits, and after seeing 'Cherry Falls' it's really not difficult to understand why. There are some really poor editing and filming techniques used throughout this film that make it look like it was made for TV. Some of the more noticeable and standout flaws are the strange inclusion of random flashback imagery, the infuriating over use of slow-motion to enhance a dramatic moment and extremely exaggerated fade outs. And whilst certainly not holding up well by today's standards, I struggle to imagine this style of film making had any form of impact upon its initial release.

The biggest misfire 'Cherry Falls' makes lies with its kills sequences and gore, or should I say, lack of. The majority of the kill sequences take place off screen, something I find to be a really strange thing for a slasher to do and what's more frustrating is that the practical effects that we see in the aftermath of these scenes shows great potential. Had this film showcased some unique and creative kill sequences I could have possibly overlooked some of the more glaring issues that this film has on display.

As with most slashers, they tend to revolve around a 'whodunnit' angle and though this film tries to throw multiple red herrings into the mix, I found this to be extremely predictable and almost lazy with its grand revelation. To the point where I knew who the killer was the moment he was introduced on screen. The instant fixation on this character and the way he is portrayed to the audience, almost as if to say "remember this guy, he is important" was so obvious that all the bread crumbs leading up to his unveiling was met with regular eye rolls from me.

Brittany Murphy and Michael Biehn take center stage as father and daughter and I have to say, their relationship and the onscreen chemistry the two actors share is the most engaging and genuine element of the entire production. The remaining cast around them are subpar at best. And whilst there are more than a few recognisable faces who have gone on to have success careers after this, I can't imagine it was their efforts here that has lead to them gaining more work in the industry.

Watching this film really gave me insight and understanding into how people who never grew up watching similar era slasher classics such as 'Urban Legend' or 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' only to heavily criticise them when watched later on in life. Those are both films I love dearly and even though I too am well aware of their flaws, I always felt baffled when people would say negative things towards them. This is no longer the case. This does not hold up well and regardless of its fan base this must be one of the worst slashers to come from the 2000's era.



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