Film Review – Castle Freak (2020)

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Iconic horror magazine Fangoria presents  this inflictive reimagining, not an absolute remake of 1995 spiritual mystery, video store favourite, Castle Freak.

Produced by one and only Barbara Crampton, who was also a lead in the obscure original for her late great director friend on many occasions, Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator).

This update is equally as bizarre, if not pushing further boundaries of mutated body horror and certain scenes which will stay lodged into your terror subconscious long after the final credits roll.

Beginning with dramatic, self-whipping, bloody flashback inside a church setting the scene for what’s ahead.

Jumping to modern times, we meet Rebecca (Clair Catherine) catching up with her obnoxious, wandering boyfriend John (Jake Horowitz) in a nightclub whilst abruptly leaving together soon after.

An inevitable drunk driving car accident occurs resulting in Rebecca suffering immediate blindness.

Moving forward the pair (still together for some unknown reason) arrive in Albania to claim a castle inherited by an adopted Rebecca from a blood relative she never knew existed.

With ideas of selling the historic property including contents, from the outset things go bump in the night and at one point when Rebecca makes it known she is scared waking in fright having astral projection dreamscape visions, John brushes off noise in the wall blaming a big Albanian squirrel.

This guy is stupid whilst uncaring for his partner that gets worse when his partying friends arrive from the US.
When an ancient book of the dead involving cult activity and a secret society is translated bringing to light what this castle has been hiding, they should have left. They don’t.

Horror aficionados are sure to enjoy the amount of flowing gore, creature effects are good thanks to the keen eye of bloodthirsty special effects maestro turned director Tate Steinsiek.

Warning towards two outrageously gross sex scenes that may break non-seasoned video-nasty viewers, kind of reminded me of, Xtro (1982), I’ll leave it at that.

Unknown to me Clair Catherine, is a specifically impressive lead, never overplaying her sight disadvantage and showing sympathetic character traits considering an ongoing nightmarish hysteria on hand.

Friendly and fantastic in, Vast of Night (2019) Jake Horowitz is believably repulsive here.

Loud talking, nerd of the group known as The Professor (Chris Galust) is involved in an extremely important mid-credits scene that will definitely bring a gasp to genre fans, so don’t switch off early.

★★ 1/2

Horror | USA, 2020 | 15 | Digital HD | 7th December 2020 (UK) | Bluefinch Film Releasing | Dir.Tate Steinsiek | Clair Catherine, Jake Horowitz, Emily Sweet, Chris Galust