How many times have we seen a movie wherein a young couple hoping for a fresh start moves into a house with an evil, awful, scary, drippy history? I think I lost count at a gajillion.
The thing that chafes my cheeks is when a low- to no-budget horror film has exterior footage of a huge, mysterious, fog-shrouded Gothic mansion, only to cut to interior shots that look like they were filmed in your Aunt Tillie’s country condo.
The stairs and hallways of the accursed manor that once housed Satan himself, are festooned with smoke alarms, paintings of dogs playing poker, and three-prong outlets? It’s a hard one for me to overlook.
Thankfully, Mask Maker (original title: Maskerade) manages to disguise its measly budget well enough, and you’ll likely be sufficiently invested to turn a blind eye to some bad mattes, continuity errors, and a weird chronology of events.
A couple of reasonably attractive college students elope to a decrepit plantation-style house in the middle of nowhere that Evan (Stephen Colletti) has bought for the very reasonable sum of $10,000.
The house comes with 40 (haunted) acres, is a goldmine of valuable heirlooms, and even has a priceless wine cellar.
What the Realtor neglected to mention is that a woman, accused of witchcraft like, 50 years ago (when Kennedy was in office, presumably), and her demented son were lynched on the property.
One thing leads to another, and the son rises from the grave (that looks all of two feet deep) and, for reasons we never learn, murders the interlopers and steals their faces to make scary masks.
It sounds pretty lame, but director Griff Fuest is generous with the gore and there’s even a splash of nudity. The script is nothing special but it isn’t dealbreaker dumb.
Bonus points for casting Treat Williams and Michael (The Hills Have Eyes) Berryman in small parts.
And Jason London, on a weekend pass from rehab, also makes an appearance.
You could do worse.