When you grow up in America, there is a very specific cocoon of safety and worldly unconsciousness that not everyone realizes that they possess. That is, until they travel to another country where this very specific brand of entitlement and willful ignorance does not play well with others and that's exactly why putting silly Americans in the middle of a country where they do not speak the language or understand the customs or religions is often a great horror movie set up.
We have a fun story, great gore and likable characters. What else do we need, right? How about a little bit of humor. Some of the humor feels forced, but there are golden bits of eye winking humor that really work. I'm thinking specifically of a moment involving the abrupt end of a Skype chat. In fact, every time it feels the film is beginning to take itself too seriously, something comes up that lightens the tone.
As a female horror fan who rarely chooses to be upset or irritated by gratuitous nudity I am compelled to give a big Mazel Tov to Mr. Bressack for not unclothing any of our actresses. Now, don't get too upset because the ladies are certainly allowed to show off their trim bodies, but it is done via clothing. Some girls really do wear those short, skimpy dresses out on the town and most women do,indeed, wear tank tops and short shorts while lounging around the house, meaning, all of the eye candy in the movie comes from a place of realism.There is even a scene where a lesser director would have taken the opportunity to have these girls naked, but Alex, Julia and Rachel are never treated as less than humans and their strength is never underestimated. Women are people. Imagine that.
With a knowing eye, an abundance of love and respect for the genre and a reverence for women that seems to be in short supply of late, Pernicious is Bressack's finest movie to date and more than that, it's good. It's one of those rare horror films where the set up for a sequel makes you happy and not irritated.
Images: IMDb & horrorcultfilms.co.uk