Difficult to critique this one really, because, putting to one side the most bizarre and nonsensical antagonist ever and a sequence of slasher style deaths that hold little to no continuity to the plot whatsoever, there is a well put together piece of film in ‘Flay’
The film opens as we witness the execution of a native American man by western settlers. Before his final and violent demise, he places a curse onto his shackles. Indeed, killer chains, not a metaphor, genuine killer chains. Cut to present day and we follow a brother and sister who have just lost their mother in unusual circumstances. Once they have dug a little deeper into their mother’s death they realise that they must put aside their personal differences and unite against a foe that they struggle to understand – them and me both!
At times some of the minor characters come across parts of the cursed chains, which in turn summons a ghost of sorts. The less said about that the better however.
Now, let’s get this out of the way first. The production values of this film are great. Its well-acted, it does well enough with its limited story, has a broad and interesting cast (for a slasher film that is), but I honestly do not know what was going on with this ghost. Its shimmery effect doesn’t even resemble a native American if you have visions of a tomahawk sporting psychopath, indeed at some point through the film there seems to be a hint that it is a water-based spirit, at other times it bears a striking resemblance to the ‘Slenderman’ of video game fame. When it does turn up the slaying happens, there’s some blood, but there is often little link to any of the story elements and some of the characters only seem to turn up to die. It really is a crying shames, and to stick the boot in further, some of the effects are absolute pants.
Albeit some are pretty good to, to balance my critique. In fact, as I already stated, there are some really great elements to this film, most of the ‘film’ parts in all fairness. Elle La Mont who plays Moon Crane was stand out as the leading lady, and the remainder of the cast play an eclectic set of teen slasher fodder. As a matter of fact, if the antagonist had been any good, and as such the kills meant something in the context of the story, this could have been one of those sleeper hits which would have been easier to recommend.
Overall, however, my recommendation really stands if you are looking for something a bit different (or you think I was being a bit of a div and you can decipher the films subtext in the comments section below!). Fundamentally it’s a good film, and I enjoyed it for the most part as a piece of entertainment, but for a slasher, I would probably seek something more typical out.