Funny, I thought with a title like Stoker Hills, that there might be vampires in the vicinity.
Nope, not even a nibble, though blood is drained if you pay attention. I’m not advising you to do so.
Three students enrolled in Professor Tony Todd’s community college film class get themselves kidnapped while working on a zombie movie, and must escape the clutches of a fiendish killer in an underground labyrinth.
Ryan (David Gridley), Jake (William Bedford-Hill), and Erica (Steffani Brass) set out with the noblest intentions to create a cinematic hybrid of “The Walking Dead and Pretty Woman.”
Shooting B-roll of a trolling Erica decked out in hooker garb goes south when she gets snatched by a goon in a creepy car. The dufus bros take off in hot pursuit, eventually leading to a secret trailer in the woods, where they too are set upon and abducted.
The camera is found by a fireman and turned over to the cops.
What looks to be a promising setup is soon squandered, as director Benjamin Louis and scenarist Jonah Kuehner unwisely shift gears into the police investigation that follows their disappearance.
We are summarily introduced to a pair of plodding detectives (Eric Etabari and William Lee Scott, the former inexplicably garbed like he’s auditioning for Guys & Dolls) who manage to grind narrative momentum to a screeching halt.
We’re handed scene after scene of these two dull dicks mulling over the found footage for clues, occasionally cutting back to the tied-up victims trying laboriously to escape their shackles, as if to remind us that there’s still a plot that needs resolving here.
The storyline twists and rebounds with their ponderous investigative revelations, including a serial killer with a pig heart (Jason Sweat) in need of fresh blood. The outré details don’t add up to much of anything, until the very last scene.
At that point, you will have the privilege of deciding if Stoker Hills is a clever little film with a “Gotcha” ending, or a low-budget time-waster with the lamest finale since, “Gosh, what a crazy dream!”
It’s an awesome responsibility when you think about it.