A small town sheriff’s worst nightmare comes true when his homicidal son escapes from a psychiatric hospital. An intense manhunt ensues as the dark secret behind the son’s evil past becomes revealed in Frayed, a retro slasher from directors Norbert Caoili and Rob Portmann.
Frayed from the very start is clearly homage to the classic era of the slasher genre heavily influenced by John Carpenter’s Halloween. Instead of the boogeyman himself Michael Myers we are given a very familiar young troubled child murderer named Kurt, who was sent away to a mental hospital after being convicted of the brutal murder of his mother at the age of only eight years old. Much like the Myers portrayed in Rob Zombies version of Halloween, Kurt is a killer that likes to take a hands on approach showcasing incontrovertible levels of brutality.
When it comes to gruesome killing scenes Frayed does an excellent job at recreating the 70s and 80s era of the slasher genre. This is a perfect film to watch with a freshly popped bag of popcorn and a group of friends. A fine reminder of why so many of us have fallen in love with the slasher genre again and again over the years.
The gore is practical and well done and each kill scene is different enough to keep them continuously interesting, a feat many modern day slashers have a problem with due to their need to give their mad men signature kills that grow tiresome quickly. The intro scene of Kurt’s mother being murder pulls no punches and the realism of the kill did a immaculate job at grabbing my attention and setting the mood for the rest of the film. Repeatedly I was impressed by the ruthlessness and creativity behind some truly unforgettable kills that will put a smile across any veteran slasher fans that grew up in the hay day of the slasher genre.
While its undeniable that Frayed barrows a lot of material from Halloween, later in the film it does make the story its own by giving it a few interesting twists. I really enjoyed the story although sort of cheesy and cliché it manages to stay interesting from start to finish, and ended up giving me a warm comfort feeling as it reminded me of my youth growing up consuming every slasher I could get my hands on. A large part of the film feels like a straight up Halloween remake at times but rest assure it does become a more original and clever take on the infamous film making it more than just another homage, it really comes together nicely at the end and is wrapped up in a very pleasing manner. I don’t want to spoil anything so I will just simply say if you enjoy classic 80s slashers and do not bore of the time tested cookie cutter formula that was created in that era then I see no reason why you would not gain some degree of enjoyment from Frayed.
Overall I had fun with this flick and would recommend readers to give it a chance, it can currently be found via Netflix streaming as of the day this review goes up on the page. If you are in the mood for some retro slasher fun queue up Frayed and take a trip back in time to when I still had hair and spandex was considered cool. On behalf of The Liberal Dead I give Frayed a solid 7 of 10 and award for most violent baseball bat kill scene ever.