This was an interesting movie. An American tattoo artist finds himself a bit too intrigued by the Somoan art of tattooing, and along the way finds himself, and his tattooed customers, the grim focus of a spiteful spirit, all stemming from his ill-advised "borrowing" of a tainted Samoan tattoo tool. I highly enjoyed this movie, but must caveat that I'm completely enthralled by all things Polynesia, so I am probably very forgiving of any negative elements of the movie. Polynesia notwithstanding, the story was creative, and certainly a break from normal American horror fare. Good (enough) acting, strong production values and interesting scenery make this a highly recommended film.
I enjoyed this movie. In short, it is a somewhat comedic horror film of a group of college-age kids who break into a mountain cabin for a weekend of skiing fun, only to run into someone intent on killing them. Its important to understand that the movie is fairly low budget; not micro-budget, but certainly not blockbuster funding. So expect hammy acting, not really compelling dialog, a thin plot, etc. However, I can be fully satisfied by a movie if it meets certain attributes, such as having been filmed in a locale appealing to me. This movie was filmed in snowy winter and on a skiing mountain, one of my passions, so that let's me forgive the underwhelming aspects of the film and just sit back and enjoy a light hearted film.
While mostly uncreative in original content, the movie represents a highly engaging, well stylized amalgamation of some of the more interesting elements of good horror movie fare. The sets are fantastically creative with a great mix of strong colors, camera angles and bizarre characters. You probably need to be a fan, if not a rabid fan, of horror movies to appreciate this movie in a Quentin Tarrantino kind of way. The two directors certainly have elements in common - a vast command of their genre, an unhesitating willingness to parse the best content of those who have gone before, etc. While Tarrantino is clearly one of the unparalleled masters of the art, this is not to imply that Zombie is anywhere near that level. And even though, IMHO, this movie is a highly entertaining assemblaged stroll through horror movies memory lane, subsequent Zombie efforts have demonstrated the unrepeatability of this magic, and which has since relegated him to a sparsely populated club of unabashedly tired and overplayed inartistic disasters the likes of which hail the love guru as miserable company.
I have to say that I really enjoyed this movie. It is absolutely a comedy/horror hybrid, with the clear emphasis on comedy. The production values are surprisingly high, and the acting works, particularly when considered in light of the script and characterization. Just go in with the right expectations and you may enjoy.
This movie may apply to a niche crowd, but if you're inclined toward comedic horrors, give it a try. Movies that are somewhat similar that I also enjoy in a similar vein: Tequila Body Shots, Hatchet, Dead and Breakfast, Sean of the Dead. I particularly enjoyed the main guy characters; their characters were distinctly well defined and amusing; their acting was on point to the story, and not over the top; also not bad acting either.
I'm a firm believer that that sum of a movies parts can be considered independent of its whole - meaning that an interesting element (e.g., a neat scene, a certain actor/actress, a sub genre, location, etc.) can be sufficient to provide a basis for enjoying a movie...particularly when viewing on DVD with the ability to quickly scan through substandard parts. In this movie's case, I have to say I enjoyed it enough to buy a copy, but here's why - its a Halloween flick (my favorite holiday) and its set in a haunted house (one of my favorite forms of entertainment). The acting, admittedly, is quite terrible, horrible in fact. The writing is at times absolutely disastrous - particularly the dialog associated with the organizer guy who is always threatening to fight someone. This guy reminds me of a horrible coworker I once had - a 27"-waisted, boy of a man who felt so Napoleonic-driven to remind everyone of his importance. The scenery isn't so bad; despite the micro budget, some sets were interesting, and good use of camera work and other atmospheric elements to improve the look. But if you expect crap acting and weak dialog, its a good time.