Inbred DVD Review
Directed by Alex Chandon
Written by Alex Chandon and Paul Shrimpton
2011, Region 2 (PAL), 90 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on 15th October 2012
Jo Hartley as Kate
Seamus O'Neill as Jim
James Doherty as Jeff
James Burrows as Tim
Neil Leiper as Gris
Chris Waller as Dwight
Eeh by gum lad, the redneck murder genre is alive and well and living in Yorkshire as Alex Chandon’s Inbred delivers a bloody battle between local yokels and obnoxious out-of-towners.
When a group of problem kids from the south takes an excursion to rural Yorkshire on a team-building weekend with their care workers, they find more than they bargained for in the sleepy village of Mortlake. Initially friendly, landlord Jim welcomes the outsiders to his pub The Dirty Hole. It’s frequented by the most ridiculously backward group of customers you could (n)ever hope to meet, but they leave the visitors alone at Jim’s command.
Later, during a project to salvage scrap from disused train carriages, they have an altercation with Jim’s carrot-wielding son and when he finds out, the gloves — and limbs — come off in a blood-soaked battle between locals and not-so-locals.
Inbred played on the main screen at Frightfest 2011, unfortunately on the last day when I wasn’t there. Ever since, I’ve been hearing snippets of news about it, and after a successful festival tour it has been picked up for distribution in the UK by Anchor Bay. This is not high art by any stretch of the imagination, but if you enjoy a riotously gory horror movie that really showcases some fantastic practical effects then this will definitely be your cup of Yorkshire Tea.
Don’t expect anything unique from the story. It’s one that’s been told countless times, mostly in the wilds of West Virginia, but the film’s sense of fun more than makes up for any shortcomings in originality. I’ve never quite believed that the redneck wood-dwellers we see in countless American horrors could actually exist, and I’m certain these Yorkshire puddings are as divorced from reality as their Yankee cousins. They do run an interesting line in village entertainment though, which swings wildly between being pleasingly bloody and unnervingly sinister. It’s very fitting that the biggest mouthpiece of the kids meets his on-stage demise in a way that complements his character: He’s full of shit, and he dies by... well, just watch it to find out.
Technically the film is very polished, Alex Chandon showing considerable skill in the director’s chair and showcasing the northern landscape and locations. There seems to be a trend in modern horror for trying to go to extremes and while in certain cases it works, much of it leaves me cold. Inbred takes me back to a time when horror was fun. It could be gory and harmless; remember the days when you watched Friday the 13th movies and relished every kill scene for ingenuity and capable effects work? That’s exactly what you get here. Call me bloodthirsty if you wish, but I loved every death scene in this film. There's also the toe-tapping ditty Eeh By Gum, a folk song that the locals spontaneously burst into at the most unlikely of times. Still, it's got to be a good lift for the spirits to break up the bloody murder with a bit of a sing song.
Inbred is the bastard son of The League of Gentlemen and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, with an approach to gross-out gore that Peter Jackson showed in Bad Taste and Brain Dead. It’s completely aware of what it is and doesn’t try to be anything that it’s not. And there’s nothing at all wrong with that.
Video and Audio:
There's an over saturated look to the picture, director's intention I'm sure, that gets to its most extreme level during the scene where the kids are stripping the train carriages. It's almost like the HDR (high dynamic range) technique that people apply to photos to make them look more dramatic. In Inbred's case it works pretty well, adding a foreboding darkness to the action. Audio is 5.1 surround which works perfectly well, but offers no real standout moments.
Inbred is stacked out with special features. Director's Diary chronicles almost every part of the shoot, from location scouting in advance through to chats with the cast and crew. It's like a found footage horror about some filmmakers shooting an inbred movie in Yorkshire. Making of Inbred is what the title suggests: a behind the scenes feature that also showcases the prosthetics and gore effects. Michael's Clips is a collection of footage shot by Michael Sanderson, the owner of Skipton Grange (location for much of the shoot) and who also worked as a set builder. Neil's Highlights is made by Alex Chandon's collaborator and is another behind the scenes/interview piece. Finally there are a couple of deleted scenes that didn't make the final cut.
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