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Frayed (2007)

frayed

A small town sheriff’s worst nightmare comes true when his homicidal son escapes from a psychiatric hospital. An intense manhunt ensues as the dark secret behind the son’s evil past becomes revealed.

Frayed was actually filmed in 2005 and released on DVD in 2007. It had no fanfare or theatre release, and only made it over here to the UK on DVD in 2009. I actually first saw it on an obscure horror channel which gave away no plot but just summarised the film as having one of the most controversial scenes ever filmed. Like so many other films claim I guess, but still I thought I would give it a shot. Man, I’m so glad I did, and for a change they weren’t lying about the controversial scene! I don’t struggle to watch much in movies, but this was easily one of the worst scenes I have witnessed.

I’ll give you a brief run down of the plot, but I want to try and keep this review short (not because I’m lazy!) but I truly believe the less you know about the movie the better, and hopefully I can whet your appetite just enough to make you try and seek Frayed out.

frayed

Pat Baker is a small town sheriff whose son, Kurt, is a deranged young man with a dark secret. Sheriff Baker’s worst nightmare comes true when Kurt escapes from a psychiatric hospital where he was locked away for the brutal murder of his mother thirteen years earlier. This murder is the contreversial scene I mentioned earlier. Within the opening moments of the movie, we see the mother brutally and relenlessy beaten to death with a baseball bat. What is horrifying about this scene is the fact that the mother is holding a video camera at the time so we get to see it all unfold. After the first strike and she falls to the floor, the camera (conveniently for us!) stays at arms length and focuses on the mothers face. Every few seconds the bat strikes her face, and the way this scene unfolds from her perfect face, into the bloody mess, head caved in choking on her own blood ending is very difficult to watch. I have no idea how they shot this so well, it looks incredibly realistic so a huge respect goes out to the special effects team on this film for creating something so authentic but horrifiyng.

frayed

We then cut to Gary, a security guard who sets out into the woods to try and catch Kurt, but soon finds himself relentlessly hunted by the deranged psychopath intent on killing him and anyone who crosses his path. Sheriff Baker launches an intense search to find his son, only to discover that his daughter, Sara, and her friends are camping in the same woods where Kurt has escaped. Kurt’s psychosis escalates, as does his vengeful killing spree, culminating in a terrifying, climactic confrontation with Kurt, the sheriff and his family.

frayed

As Frayed is a low budget affair, there are no famous faces on show here. Some of the acting is typical of a low budget movie, but others really do a fine job. Visually it is very reminiscent of some of the older style horror movies, with a dated feel and look but it just works really well. The story is the strongest part here though, and on my first viewing I was blown away by the twists and turns the film took and I really feel they will surprise people. That’s why I’m trying to keep away from important plot points in this post, but by the time the films ends all the loose ends are tied up and a second watch is a must, it’s just as exciting looking out for all the clues.

frayed

The film is clearly influenced by Halloween, and the bad guy on show here is very Michael Myers-esque. The creepy clown mask whilst being simple is very effective, but rather than just rip off Halloween, Frayed really stands on its own two feet and carves out it’s own niche in the genre. My only criticism really would be that the runtime could do with being shorter, at 111 minutes there were a few unnecessary scenes that didn’t really progress the plot forwards. The DVD came with some great features and as it was released by Lionsgate I’m amazed it never got more publicity. If you like good old fashioned villain movies, with a great story and unique twists, and you are willing to look past a couple of standard horror movie ‘right-place, right-time‘ clichés and don’t mind a low budget vibe, then I can’t recommend Frayed highly enough.

Ratings08

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After writing this review, the director actually contacted me and eventually we hashed out a little interview. Please head HERE to check it out!

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33 Comments

  1. Excellent review! You’ve definitely convinced me to give it a view! And that clown guy is freaky. I do not like him.

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    • Thank you Mistylane!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and look forward to your thoughts if you do catch it. Clowns are always creepy, I blame Pennywise 🙂

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      • Clowns ARE creepy. I blame my Raggedy Andy clown doll from when I was a kid though. Dreamt it came to life and tried to kill me. Simply terrifying!

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        • Nice dream! I used to love watching IT but I also had to walk under a bridge past a big drain cover, always imagined the clown dragging me under. I used to run so fast through that tunnel……….

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        • I didn’t read the book till I was in my 20s because I was so scared of the whole idea of it. 😉 Then I read it and loved it. I have a fear of walking over grates though. It’s not necessarily from IT but IT didn’t help!

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        • Yeah I read the book after watching the movies but the book is creepier I think. I watched the film last year and it hasn’t aged well……Im loving the JFK inspired time travel book King wrote recently though, only about a quarter through but I think it would make a great movie if done right

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        • They’re remaking IT for the big screen! I hated what I watched of the original (even though it has John Ritter who is always phenomenal) because yeah, definitely didn’t age well. Still in queue to read that book (waiting for a friend to finish) but I’m looking forward to it! And therein lies the problem with King novels becoming movies – it’s so rare that they’re done well. I like The Stand, I like Carrie but he has soooo many that just don’t…either they don’t translate well in general or whoever’s translating them doesn’t get what they’re doing.

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    • Yeah the book to film adaptations just dont seem to work. I loved The Shining book and film, yet King hates the film version. I thought his book Cell was excellent, and maybe before The Walking Dead was made for TV there was a window for it. Shame as his material is superb. Misery I guess turned out pretty well too

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      • Cell was one of my least favorites. To me, it really felt like he was phoning it in. (Do you watch Family Guy? There’s a bit in one where King is talking to his editor/agent and the guy’s like, “We need your next book. What is it? When will you have it??!” and King looks around the room and goes, “Oh…yeah..well…it’s about a lamp. A killer demon lamp!” Lol, that’s kinda how Cell felt for me). I can still see there being a market for it because Cell and Walking Dead are very different things. Walking Dead is much more bleak. And it’s about the people (the walking dead). Plus doesn’t Cell have less characters? I’d really love to see The Dome turned into something (tv or film). That really felt like it was a return to form for King. (Sorry this comment is so long…)

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        • I love Family Guy! I did like Cell, quite liked the little band of travellers and the fact that no one was safe from dying, I thought that was bleak enough! I would say more characters than Walking dead, small group I guess, about 5/6 but they meet a lot of people (and things) along the way. Full Dark No Stars was a good read, a couple of those stories were great, although the BTK similarities and the trucker story were hard to read, very graphic! I have the Dome, still not read it, looks a big old book! Will get to it one day. Long comments are the best 🙂

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        • Family Guy is awesome (thought I’m more a fan of the older than newer). Lol, it was bleak but the Walking Dead comics are like this whole new level of bleakness that makes you want to crawl into a hole and hide. Full Dark was a really great one and so was Just After Sunset! Really love King’s short stories. He totally shines there. Haha, yeah the Dome is big enough to be used alternately as a weapon. 😉

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        • Never read the comics, would love to pick them up but keep waiting for them to go on sale as I’m cheap! Good thinking with the weapon, although I’m sure I’ve seen a few times you mention your waiting for an end of world apocalypse to happen, I’d love to hear your plan! Hope it turns out better for you than in the film ‘The Divide’ (ive reviewed it if you haven’t seen it, if you have commented in there I apologise for my laziness to check and memory!).

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        • I get them from the library. 🙂 Lol, I’ll have to email you my plan sometime (or plans, since there’s a different one for different scenarios). Best to be prepared! I know I’ve read reviews of “The Divide” but can’t remember if I read yours, will have to go check. 🙂 And yes, hopefully it’s so much better!

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        • What the hell is this library you speak of? 🙂

          Look forward to the email. I have always told people I would love to be in an end of the world situation, I think I would be useful enough to survive. I don’t have a plan as such, but Im a good fighter with no conscience so i would just rob things off weak people I imagine 🙂

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        • The library in my town, lol. They are super tiny but they’re pretty awesome with having comics and loads of movies! 🙂

          Ha! That’s horrible, lol. 😉 I’ll most likely be the gathering up everyone and taking them in and then having them backstab me type. 😉

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        • I still have 2 books from my college library 🙂 good job they were checked out on someone else’s name!

          You would be a good Samaritan, I should of guessed. Too kind, I will take your food and shelter but probably either kill you all or protect you. Hard to say until it happens 🙂

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        • Haha, good job indeed!

          I know. Damn my nice ways. 😉 And now I know not to be nice to you during the apocalypse. Hehe.

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        • It’s fine, people always like me and I have a trusting face. Thats when Ill stab people in the back if it means I’ll live longer. Also, I reckon I could turn to eat people ‘Alive’ style if life depended on it 🙂

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        • This conversation has taken an unfortunate turn. 😉

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        • Haha, yeah I was talking metaphorically about the people that were going to be mean to you in your shelter, so I would be like Robin Hood and make them trust me then kill them to save the nice people……….waaaaaaaay off topic too but it’s all good fun 🙂

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        • Oh, well, that’s okay then. 😉 All good fun! 🙂

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  2. atothewr

     /  September 27, 2012

    Will have to check this one out. Sounds like my kind of movie. I’ll be sure to read that interview when you post it. Good review.

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    • Thanks mate. Just putting the finishing touches to the edit now, can’t wait for people to read it. Great movie, and if the review and Q&A session dont whet peoples appetite enough to check it out then they have issues. Or just different opinions which is all cool 🙂

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  3. Victor De Leon

     /  September 29, 2012

    Gonna check this one out, man. Thanks! Good review.

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