Directed by Eric Pham.
Starring Ella Lamont, Dalton E. Gray, Johnny Walter, Violett Beane, A. Michael Baldwin, and Patricia Cane.
After the death of her mother, an estranged daughter struggles to save her brother, and those around her from a malevolent faceless spirit.
Possessed objects are no stranger to the horror genre and I thought I’d seen it all; but Flay managed to surprise me, for this movie we have… haunted chains. Whilst this is utterly ridiculous, Flay is a fun B-movie style horror with some good visual effects and few effective scares.
After her Mother’s death, Moon (Lamont) returns home to arrange her wake and look after little brother River (Gray). What she can’t expect is that her mother has unleashed a Native American curse on the town. The film opens with a sepia toned account of the eradication of the Native Americans and the cutting of their hair, the changing of their clothes and the brutal torture they suffered. As they kill a powerful tribesman, he curses the chains he’s bound in and in the present day starts killing people. There are plenty of plot holes throughout as the murderous spirit doesn’t seem to play by a set of rules; choosing to kill some victims and trap others in a sort of limbo. It’s confusing and frustrating if you like your evil to be consistent. There are glaring continuity errors with day and night switching within a matter of moments, but none of this effects the enjoyment of the film.
Flay isn’t a great movie, but it’s an interesting idea and director Pham has fun playing with camera angles and not relying on too many jump scares. He frames the antagonist in the background of certain shots or he puts part of them in the foreground to add tension. It’s an effective technique and it’s refreshing to see someone not just relying on a cheap jump scare.
There are also some decent special effects on display. Pham, comes from an effects background having worked on Sin City 2, Grindhouse and Bless the Child to name a few, so it’s unsurprising that the effects work is of good quality considering the low-budget. The spirit itself seems to be an homage to viral sensation Slenderman with his face covered and tailored suit.
A tease from the opening of the film is revisited in the closing moments and is quite effective if a sequel were ever to be made. There’s some subtlety to Flay which has to be admired, despite its ludicrous plot. All in all it’s an enjoyable horror film that shows that Pham and screenwriter Matthew Daley are talents to watch.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★/ Movie: ★ ★