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Huff (2012)

Directed by Paul Morrell Written by Cort Howell

     This year at Texas Frightmare, attendees were welcomed with nineteen screenings which was an amazing upgrade from the past years. So you can imagine having to choose the right movie with the endless amount of everything else going on around the Hyatt in Dallas, Texas. Having been a late addition and completed only two weeks prior to the actual screening, I had certainly been excited for this film simply because Charlie O’ Connell’s name was attached to the project. Really as simple as it gets. I think he’s hilarious in the past films I’ve see him and oh yea, I suppose is not too bad to look at either. Combined with the warped Three Little Pigs tale involving thief, betrayal and murders most foul, I knew this would be one to not miss.

The movie begins displaying Huff played by O’Connell telling a tale to his three young step daughters whose “moral” is for young women to “know their places.” I really loved the story idea used within this film. Although I would also venture to say that any distorted and bent fairytale reworked to show the dis-contentment rather than the often humdrum of “and they all lived happily ever after” would reign high on my have to watch list. Kevin Smith came out with Red State last year and not only was it a surprise because of the usual jokes he sticks to but because it’s rare you see these types of people being portrayed in these films. What do you mean “these people?” Well, the hypocritically Christian type who preach all day but when it comes to implementing any of that into their actual lives; the message suddenly reads foggy. I think a lot of people can say they’ve known one or two of those type. Granted they’re not all the murderous type (that we know of at least) there is certainly an aspect that may have potential in means of entertainment as far as the story goes.

A self anointed drug dealer who treats every woman in his life poorly, including his mistress. On top of that he has a hasty temper that could blow any roof off. The one adversary constantly fighting back at this big bad wolf being his asthma which leads to several different scenes within the film that are good for a laugh here and there. BUT, that is not what we Horror fans want so back to the film. The film itself was well-directed, had a great soundtrack all through the film. What surprised me was how well the acting had been from the surrounding cast. It’s rare you find that to be the case, especially in the lower budgeted films. I especially enjoyed the eldest daughter’s performance played by Marie Bollinger. Engaging Huff in the big finale, she was able to become the one you rooted for and delivered her lines with sincerity and a decent conviction.

Speaking of such, I must sadly report that I was disappointed in the one thing I had also been looking forward to. Here’s the thing, O’Connell has a great voice. It’s deep and raspy and had the potential to rein terror in some people. But what Mr. O’Connell lacked was the conviction to bring it all together. I would have liked to see him go balls out for this role but what I received instead was a very mechanical bad ass who I saw LITERALLY walk through a couple of the more intense scenes. The one bright side being that the ending of this movie did leave it open for the possibilities of a second which would be nice and I do hope happens. Why not right? There are way worse movies that get their sequels. Perhaps then our lead will be willing to give a bit more of him to the part. Such a great and sweet guy, I guess I just expected a bit more.

But considering the movie for what it was, you should definitely see it for the elements surrounding the movie make it worth watching. Like I said, there was a great cast. Natasha Alam, Jenna Stone and Elina Madison all did great, not forgetting Bollinger or the 5 minute if even that appearance from Clint Howard. If they’re able to come out with a second installment I do hope that they wouldn’t hold back as much. The movie was certainly meant with every intention of entertaining but came up a bit short as far as making the audience timid in fearing this “big bad wolf.”