Cast: Karina Fontes, Casey Adams, Emily Althaus, Miranda Bailey
Director: Roxanne Benjamin
With the modern shift towards more creepy and unsettling horror movies, every once in a while it’s nice to see a movie that represents the old tropes of past and show the tactics that made older horror movies scary will still work today. Body at Brighton Rock feels like a movie that came out in the 1970s, but it harnesses that essence to create a tense environment and an overall fun experience for audiences. While these tropes might feel tired and outdated to some, Body at Brighton Rock is a flash-in-the-pan 87 minute horror movie that does its job, nothing else, and walks away when everything is all said and done.
The film follows Wendy (Fontes), a young state park guide who takes on a tough trail as one of her final assignments to prove she’s worth the position. When she gets lost and discovers a dead body in the woods, she calls it in but has to remain with it until the proper authorities can come and analyze the scene. Because of her remote location, the police won’t be able to get there until tomorrow morning. While her instincts tell her to abandon the spot and head back to base, Wendy must use her survival skills to stay in the area and avoid the threats that lurk in the wild. While we’ve predominantly gotten past the way older horror movies used to feel, sometimes it’s nice to see what would happen if we applied them to a modern film in a relevant setting. There’s something nostalgically-pleasing about seeing bad-looking cuts and an overused score in a movie being released today and it brings your mind back to a different time in your life. The thing that helps Body at Brighton Rock is that it never feels like it’s going to far or going overboard, it feels much more like an homage to the great horror movies of the past. As a standalone movie, Body at Brighton Rock has the foundation at its premise where it doesn’t need to make all of these references to the past. The concept of Wendy surviving on her own and having to be aware of the natural and unnatural things in her environment is a great setup for a movie and has worked countless times in the past with both men and women leads. I know horror movies are generally shorter in length, I wish this movie was a little longer so that we got to learn a little bit more about Wendy and her predicament. Sure it’s nice to see a pure horror movie every once in a while, but Body at Brighton Rock really did have the potential to be something special. For the most part it does its job, and Body at Brighton Rock is a serviceable, enjoyable movie with nice callbacks to an era when horror movies really began to blossom and evolve. Benjamin has worked on several horror projects in the past and it looks like that experience paid off and gave us a fun, scary experience.
Overall, Body at Brighton Rock isn’t the type of movie that everyone will be lining up to go see, but as a horror moving on a streaming service, this is a quick movie that does its job and moves on. At times it feels almost like a student film considering I don’t know anyone involved in the main cast, but I think Fontes may have a real future down the line. I hope it works out for her, but for the time being Body at Brighton Rock goes slightly above its expectations and delivers upon a premise that can be easily processed.
Overall Score: 6/10