Simon Says (2006)

Simon Says (2006)

You forgot to say….. SIMON SAYS

Five college friends decide to spend a weekend in the woods and set off to find a remote campsite where they won’t be disturbed. However they don’t reckon upon twins Simon and Stanley whom they meet at the local gas station. The twins begin a deadly game of “Simon says” with the campers and anyone else who gets in their way.

 

Haven’t I seen this before? Not the fact that there are killer twins on the prowl, just the fact that it’s another slasher film set in a campsite in the woods. Studios have been churning out this old slasher chestnut since the 80s and if the Friday the 13th films didn’t make it overstay its welcome, then the Sleepaway Camp films certainly did. But any slasher film is still welcome as it’s my favourite horror sub-genre and Simon Says was straight into my DVD player as soon as I got it.

Maybe that wasn’t such a good move. Whilst it’s not a bad film, Simon Says certainly isn’t a great one. The first problem is obviously the story and not even attempting to do anything new. Whilst the idea of killer twins may be a nice extra to add to the mix, at the end of the day the end result is still the same as the rest of these camping slashers and they still kill a lot of people in grisly ways in the same manner as any masked villain would have done. It still rolls out the usual clichés from the start to the end including the same bunch of stock characters (jock, slut, stoner, etc), the same stupid “let’s split up in the woods” mistakes, pointless minor characters to add to the body count as well as the traditional drinking, drugs and pre-martial sex. Everything about it is just so indistinguishable from the rest of its genre and that’s a pity because there are some good things going on here.

The only reason to watch this is if you’re a fan of Crispin Glover. He’s made a career out of nut cases and deranged loonies and was even lobbied around to become The Joker in The Dark Knight. Here he plays the deranged twins, one being quiet and dim with the other being a real psycho and really goes overboard with his ropey accent and oddball mannerisms. It does get a little headache-inducing after watching for a while but when he gets such star billing as he does on the front cover, you might as well let him do what he wants.

The rest of the cast is just made up of the stock good-looking teenage actors that we’ve all grown tired of and can all be summed up with the first words that come out of their mouths. It’s just terrible writing but something we see time and time again. Can’t we just have a group of ordinary-looking, middle-aged married couples going away for a weekend of fishing and knitting? It may not sound riveting but at least it’s different. At least there may be one or two people we may root for because you won’t find them here. Despite some feeble attempts to get us to like the characters (even throwing a random psychic connection between one of the twins and one of the females), there’s no one you’ll root for – in fact it’s the twins that you’ll be cheering on and wishing that they’d get down to business a little sooner than they do. It does take them a while to get going and the talking and gratuitous build-up seems to be dragged out a little bit too much.

The twins certainly have a creative talent for killing people as is evident with the numerous traps that they have set up around the woods to snare unsuspecting travellers. They are almost as absurd as they are scientifically improbable but at least they’re a lot of fun to the viewer. One particular highlight is a group of paintball players being sliced up by a falling log with a load of garden tools attached to it. Oh and there’s also a hilarious bit with a dog being killed by a flying boot. There’s plenty of blood being sprayed around but also some pretty weak dummies being destroyed in the process, obvious of the film’s low budget. And there’s way too much of freakin’ CGI gore! It really annoys me the way in which CGI has suddenly taken over from the old corn syrup and tacky make-up effects. But in this film, it’s the way in which these kills are handled that is the key to enjoying them, not in the end result.

 

Simon Says has a few decent touches and Glover’s performance is decent at first. But like many slashers, both the film and Glover outstay their welcome by about eighty minutes! Andrew Says do not watch this film unless you’re drunk.

 

 ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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