What do demons, zombies, and a kid that looks like a vampire have to do with one another? Not a whole lot, except that all figure one way or another into Brian A. Metcalf’s byzantine fantasy, Fading of the Cries. No one expects perfect coherence—or competent acting—from a low-budget horror picture, but this convoluted mess sets new lows in underimagined, overplotted narrative—not to mention grade-Z thesping and dimly portentous dialogue. “Not everything is as it seems,” intones an ashen teen vamp (Jordan Matthews, a poor man’s Robert Pattinson) and indeed it isn’t as, at the film’s beginning, a simple meeting between friends gives way to an attack of the undead. Why zombies suddenly walk the earth is never made quite clear, though it has something to do with an ancient demon (Brad Dourif) raised by one of the girls’ now-deceased uncle, a man who, like the beastly creature himself, is seeking revenge for his family’s death. So, it turns out, is our bloodsucker look-alike, but Metcalf never bothers to ground these motivations in even a minimum of characterization, simply throwing his undefined figures into the CGI necromantic-undead stew and letting them fend for themselves.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 6, 2011