New Horror Releases: Fireside Tales (2016) - Reviewed

There are many ways to tackle the genre of horror and this film tries so hard to achieve some form of originality that it fails in telling a strong concrete story. Fireside Tales is trying to be an R-rated version of Are You Afraid of the Dark and it is executed poorly. A group of friends meet up in a deserted area to get drunk and tell horror stories. Each story is told by a different person just to outdo one another. The individual stories themselves could be interesting but the build up to it was lacking, so all you are left is wondering why am I watching this.

There is no character development to generate any sympathy for people that get killed off. You can say that is a good thing for a horror film which means a higher body count, but if you don’t care about any of the characters then you’re not emotionally attached. For example, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre makes you actually feel for the people that were biting the dust.

I see what the writer/director Ian Messenger was going for, but the lack of having tension in any of the stories and having unconvincing dialogue makes the film annoying at times. The acting in most horror movies are passable; however, the characters in this feel like they are reading lines and the attempts at some semblance of emotion ends up being deliered more comedic then sincere. The positive aspects could be the kills and practical effects that were used, yet sitting through parts that feel dull just to get to the best parts isn’t enough. You can tell that this is a small to no budget film done by a group of friends, more so then a small studio. There are some amazing shots and great camera work. The sound editing and music is just decent, but nothing memorable. 

I give them all credit for trying to tell multiple stories of a slasher genre with creating different story lines. However, each story has been done before and more effective in grasping the desired feeling of the audience. Horror may be simple to do, but it still needs to be done right in order to stand out from other films. Fireside Tales is one that you will enjoy with a group of friends who are really drunk and like to yell out the flaws, other than that it just isn't quite on par with the mediocre fare you see on Netflix or Amazon. 

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-Caster Durden