Review by Derrick Carter
Running Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
MPAA Rating: R for Strong Sadistic Horror Violence/Gore, Pervasive Language and some Nudity
Directed by: Alex Chandon
Written by: Alex Chandon & Paul Shrimpton
Starring: Jo Hartley, Seamus O’Neill, James Doherty, James Burrows, Neil Leiper, Chris Waller & Nadine Rose Mulkerrin
If you were to watch 2001 MANIACS while taking acid, you’d likely be seeing something along the lines of Alex Chandon’s INBRED. This is an over-the-top, splattery take on something along the lines of DELIVERANCE. When I say splattery, I mean splattery as in this film contains gallons of guts and inventive kills from a variety of psycho rednecks. You don’t necessarily walk into a movie titled INBRED without having a good idea of what you’re in for. In the realm of hillbilly horror, this film delivers what you think it might. Sadly enough, the story is a bit of a bogged down, overly familiar mess. The effects and characters are a mixed bag as well. If you want a stupid little gorefest, then this isn’t exactly a bad way to kill the time though.
Two social workers are escorting four juvenile delinquents to a countryside service project. Over the course of a few days, these young ruffians will do hard labor and hopefully change their futures for the better. However, a minor run-in with redneck locals quickly escalates into a full-fledged bloody accident. Desperate for help, the social workers and kids flee to the local bar…and things spiral into an out-of-control gory showdown between the band of outsiders and the inbred locals.
Alex Chandon reminds me of Rob Zombie in that he puts way more attention into crafting creative villains than he does into writing compelling protagonists. The inbred hicks are colorful characters and each ounce of grime on them is brought through in their slimy performances. The best of the bunch is easily Seamus O’Neill who seems born to play the part of insane ringleader. For no apparent reason other than shock value, O’Neill dons black face for half of the running time and that somehow manages to make his character seem more menacing. Not only is he a bloodthirsty lunatic with a penchant for macabre “shows,” he’s a racist one too. The rest of the characters seem like they’ve literally been pulled out of a redneck community. Chandon does a great job of building an eerie atmosphere as the main victims, er, I mean characters enter a world far from their own.
As mentioned before, the protagonists are pretty bland to begin with. There is an attempt made at fleshing them out with arguably too much build-up put into the first third of the running time. However, these interactions are dull as the characters are either straight-up slasher stereotypes or just plain unlikable from the get-go. Of course, that comes in handy when you’re watching some of the more frustrating characters bite it in horrible ways.
Speaking of which, the deaths are inventive. There was morbid imagination put into the bloody part of this story. The gore, of which there is plenty, is a mix of practical effects and CGI. While the original cut focuses on certain bloody shots (you can see a video of this on YouTube), the R-rated version neuters most of this flick’s bite. From what you can see of the gore, the CGI looks absolutely terrible, as in Syfy Channel level bad. However, the practical effects are rather impressive and makes me wonder why Chandon didn’t keep a constant hands-on and old-school approach, because the film is best when we see exploding prosthetics and gory make-up as opposed to limbs being severed with CGI animation.
INBRED is exactly the kind of film that the title implies it will be…for better or worse. There is imagination put into the splatter and the villains are fun to watch, but it all just makes me wish that just as much effort had been put into the protagonists and less cheap-looking CGI was implemented. If you’re bored and out of options for a quick-and-easy horror flick, then INBRED might satisfy. Otherwise, it’s just an okay, slightly underwhelming experience.