Its been a mega busy period recently with some big releases over the Christmas/new year period, so much so that whilst we posted the press release back in November, the indie 70s influenced horror ‘Twelve Pole’ did not get the review we promised – until now.
From the press release the plot of ‘Twelve Pole’ follows five friends are looking for a new way to make money and decide renovating houses may be the ticket. They buy a house in a tiny rural town with the intention of flipping it to make money. However, unaware of the turbulent history of the house, they fall into a trap of possession and brutal death.
Indeed, this is exactly how the film plays out. The indie film, shot on a shoe string budget, with a cast who played a role both in front of and behind the camera (in various technical roles), follows the group of friends as they get far more than they bargained for from their investment. If a deal seems to good to be true, it probably is, especially when it comes to property. That said, you don’t expect your mates mind to be influenced by a malevolent entity and turn psycho. Then again, dry rot doesn’t make for a great horror antagonist either!
The films characters are somewhat likeable by default as they are simply a regular group of guys. The house they purchase is suitably creepy and run down; suitably authentic for the plot. There are some plot decisions which perhaps rely on the audiences ‘suspension of disbelief’ in order to actually get the film going, but once it does, it’s an overall enjoyable watch.
The dialogue is ok, the characters interact well which helps the bromance and banter come off authentic. Indeed, there is a clear passion by all involved to give it the 100%, and whilst I don’t think any of the characters will be given their own spin-off anytime soon, there is enough screen presence to give weight to the films more serious scenes.
If you are an indie horror veteran you know that there are likely concessions to be made in terms of acting, dialogue and some of the films other technical aspects, and to enjoy Twelve Pole, one must have a soft spot for this type of film making. The sound is often ropy, blown out mic-pres clipped by some of the films louder dialogue, and the films editing could be slicker and at times the films presentation is too dark. In addition to this the film is around 15 minutes too long, and by the hour mark the ‘tension building’ (aka not a lot happening) had me thinking I had been short changed.
You see, I will make the above concessions on the proviso that the film makes good on at least one of the items its press release promises. From a film which promotes itself as brutal, I expect uncut, unwavering brutality.
Thankfully, it came.
The violence in several scenes throughout the movie gave me the pay off for my patience through the padded exposition. Some decent gore goes along way in my book, especially in the time where the splatter movie has drifted towards more comic leanings, and overused copy/paste CGI effects dilute the impact. This isn’t splatter movie levels of gru and gore, but its strong enough to let you know you aren’t watching another of Blumhouse’s 15-rated offerings. Whilst the disclaimer at the start of the film was perhaps not completely warranted, I enjoyed what was. The effects are pretty good in parts. I don’t know about the 70s, but it reminded me of my adolescence growing up in the 90s watching all the VHS gore movies I could get ordered in!
Overall, it might not be the most technically accomplished film reviewed this month, but it is well worth a watch if you are a fan of indie cinema. It’s a film with a dark tone, some hints at the psychology of risk and the paranoia associated with them, and, more appealing to me, some decent gore towards the end.