Film

Film

by

The slasher subgenre was cloned into oblivion years ago, but rogue bone-pickers continue to churn out one-shot resurrections intent on tweaking conventions and paying homage. Fine, but Stevan Mena’s Malevolence exposes the pitfalls of such reverence. The plot is beside the point (emotionally damaged kid grows up to be a killer, comely twentysomethings stumble into his lair), and the film offers little besides slavish bows to Tobe Hooper and John Carpenter (Mena even composed his own whiny electronic score). It hardly helps that Malevolence is laughably unscary or that Mena favors dimensionless medium shots and ham-fisted symbolic imagery. The sole interest lies in its tepid meta-movie awareness, as when a pair of innocent female protags escape the carnage physically and psychologically intact. Carol J. Clover might be proud, but for the rest of us it’s too little too late.