An American Terror (2014)
Director: Haylar Garcia
Starring: Graham Emmons, Louise Macdonald, Brian Thompson
If there’s one thing the American educational institution has taught us, it’s to keep your wits about you.
Ever since the 18th Century American school shootings have sadly been a common occurrence across various states in the USA. A lot can be traced back to mental illness however within the subject matter we are going to look at today bullying is the perpetrator. Diving into his first creative output within our world of monsters Haylar Garcia makes his horror debut with An American Terror. Released back in 2014 An American Terror is the story of 3 outcasts battling their way through high school in an American suburb over run by popularity rather than morality.
The film opens with Protagonist Josh played by Graham Emmons making his feature film debut, awakening to the sound of a Harsh but relentless alarm. A narration of voices begging Josh to go back to sleep wash over the scene of Josh laying in a rickety bed. Giving the impression that this is routine the scene cuts to waist level shots of Josh’s parents arguing with josh sat at a table watching his childhood figureheads unfold in front of him. The way one scene cuts to the next is done in a very gritty style, this can be comparable to Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses.
Arriving at high school that day with fellow misfits Ray and Sammy we soon run into a group of jocks that add fuel to the inevitable fire. After an altercation, the 3 misfits then make a pact to seek revenge on the jocks that had so effortlessly ripped them a new one.
The acting within the group of jocks is fairly tepid and unconvincing but then again, it’s sometimes hard to capture the essence of being a dumb jock unless you’re one of those twats from high school musical. The choice of soundtrack is very suited to what an outcast would be associated with, ranging from genres of Punk to Industrial. This really compliments the montage scene of 3 teenagers drinking and plotting out a massacre.
A plan is formulated for Josh and Ray to find some guns while Sammy is in charge of making explosives. In their search, Ray and Josh come across what looks to be a legitimately run junk yard but little do they know what they’ve stumble across. After a mild break in they soon discover an underground tunnel not long before the one and only owner of the establishment returns trapping them within said tunnel.
From this point in the film it very soon develops into a traditional teenage slasher type ordeal with our characters trying to outrun a masked maniac within an underground torture chamber. A criticism can be found is the films lack of elaboration on the character known as The Junker. Although mystery can be a positive I feel that with all the unique torture instruments and cult like memorabilia scattered around a bit of back story would have helped the flow of the film and made for a more memorable character.
Although with its dark subject matter An American Terror is average at best. 5/10