2 StarsBeware is a standard slasher flick in the vein of the Friday the 13th franchise. This low budget horror movie finds five young friends on a road trip. This is the group’s last hurrah as one will be departing to Europe to play soccer. On their way the car breaks down and they stop at an old garage. After being told the fix will take a day or so they luckily (or is it?) run into Maria, who takes the crew back to the Shady Grove Hotel. The town of Shady Grove isn’t the best place to get caught up though, especially if the sadistic tale of Shane is true (which it is, or there wouldn’t be a movie).
The first act is pretty bad and really shows the film’s low budget. It does get slightly better though, as the killings begin to ramp up. The biggest issue here is we’ve seen this all before. Lately most slasher films are resorting to Sleepaway Camp style twists, a Michael Myers or Jason type baddie and lots of blood and guts. Those are all present in Beware, but hitting those marks doesn’t make a horror movie good. Suspense would be the lacking emotion here, and the most important to the genre.
Director Jason Daly and Shawn Copenhaver’s script is flat, with turns that we see coming a mile away. We don’t relate to or care for any of the characters and so the murder and mayhem on the screen is lost in inattention. The only saving grace is the decent gore and kill effects that at times add some level of budget to the screen. Unfortunately they are surrounded by a mess of poor cinematography (that ruins one kill scene completely) and bad dialogue. The acting is decent for something on this level and the actors never take you out of the scene with dialogue delivery (although they never draw you in either). But there are some scenes that just don’t belong, such as leading lady’s Lorena King’s introductory tough girl scene with her hitting a heavy bag. We don’t need this low caliber proof that she’s man enough to survive, and it also gives a little too much away.
Shane isn’t a bad creation for a horror monster. He’s portrayed well by Edward Madera as a hulking maniac killer. The reason to cover his face with a mask is ridiculous and an unnecessary repetitive trait of the genre. Other masked killers have well motivated reasons for their mask donning in movies like Friday the 13th Part III, Halloween and Scream (even Sleepaway Camp if you think about it), but in Beware it’s just one more hoop the filmmakers felt they needed to jump through.
For die hard horror fans there’s blood, guts and nudity. These come hand in hand with the same old story making Beware something to place at the end of your Netflix queue (at least it made it on). I’d pass on this for casual horror viewers. The tagline for this is Beware: You’ve been warned! It should be Beware: This movie! (that title was just begging for it).
Director: Jason Daly
Stars: Lorena King, Cecilia Huete, Edward Madera