Thursday, May 16, 2024

Faceless After Dark: Some Nasty Meta-ness for Terrifier Fans

What do you do if you survive a killer clown? Try to survive the sequel. Hopefully, that worked for Jenna Kanell, the star of Terrifier 1 and 2. However, her fictional alter-ego is not doing so well in this film. Bowie Davidson has a limited amount of [toxic] fandom from a cult clown-slasher, but she cannot figure out a second act until inspiration comes stalking her in Raymond Wood’s Faceless After Dark, which releases tomorrow on VOD.

Lately, the only work Davidson gets are convention appearances, where she signs autographs for cretinous fans. (Kanell co-wrote the screenplay, so you should consider skipping her line at the next ComicCon.) Fortunately, she need not worry about making ends meet, thanks to her lover, Jessica, a vastly more popular thesp. In fact, Jessica just booked a superhero movie in Europe, leaving Davidson alone in their Hollywood Hills home. Like clockwork, an incel stalker fan wearing a clown mask invades their home, but Davidson is in better shape and she is more comfortable wielding her old horror props.

Her “friend” Ryan, who just let his financial backers drop Davidson from his long gestating film, advised her to work on her own thing and write what she knows—so she does exactly that. Essentially,
Faceless After Dark follows the template of Stacy Title’s The Last Supper, but without any of the wit or insight. Whereas the under-heralded 1995 film brilliantly depicted a group of left-wingers sliding down a slippery slope, with each of their murdered right-wingers becoming less defensible and more horrifying, Faceless is just Twitter-dopamine torture porn for the extreme left.

Frankly, it probably does not even work on that level, because Davidson is such a petulant and entitled character. By the time she starts working over the self-styled “Soccer Mom” troll, it is hard to feel anything except gnawing fear that there is no truly no hope left for civil discourse in our country. Seriously, when was the last time Wood, Kanell, or co-screenwriter Todd Jacobs had am open and respectful conversation with a pro-lifer?

An extremist is someone who prefers to demonize anyone they disagree with, rather than trying to understand their point of view.
Faceless After Dark definitely reflects an extremist perspective. It is also graphically brutal and arguably incompetent. Not recommended, it releases tomorrow (5/17) on VOD.