Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Hamiltons (2006)

The Family That Slays Together Stays Together

Editor's Note: This film review was originally (and poorly) written in 2006. 

The After Dark Horrorfest film The Hamiltons blows its load in the first five minutes of the movie by introducing and killing Brittany Daniel (Club Dread), the biggest star that the film had to offer. What follows is a film that could’ve had it all, but chose slow pacing, bad acting and little violence to get to culminate into what is actually a somewhat endearing plot twist. Then again, what do you expect from directors credited as "The Butcher Brothers"? That would be like trying to take a film by Bill Zebub seriously.

The Hamiltons seem like your everyday family. Well, except that they kill people for fun. After the death of their parents, the eldest son David is forced to raise the family, supporting Darlene and Wendell (the twins) and his youngest brother, Francis. They appear to have the normal motions of a family trying its best to make do, feeling like they don’t belong anywhere and constantly fighting with one another. The only thing that they can agree on is a healthy blood lust for drifters and other low-profile victims. Francis is the only one who refuses to participate in the murders. When Francis takes a liking to one of the victims, he has to choose between family or freedom.

For the most part, The Hamiltons is a very stagnant film. The cinematography is very plain and steady, the scares are rare, and the acting is quite bad. Samuel Child (who plays David) gives his character the worst personality for 90 percent of the movie. It sounds like he’s doing an impression of a white guy doing an impression of a black guy doing a bad impression of a white guy. I put up with his "Heavens no’s" and Bible-belt-father rhetoric, but it was the line "I’m tired of your hullabaloo!" that had me tired of his...well...hullabaloo.

Just when I had given up hope, the ending caught me off guard. A simple plot twist made me smirk and suddenly feel like the rest of the film wasn’t that big of a waste of time. In its strangely charming way, the ending saved the film. I still wouldn’t recommend it as one of the better 8 Films to Die For, but I wouldn’t say to dismiss it completely. Just put it aside for your next family night.

2.5/5 Stars
Andrew's Hidden Message: Hullabaloo.

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