A group of wayward teenagers and their two caretakers head out to the English countryside in order to get out of the city as a way to help the kids. They arrive in a small-isolated village that isn't welcoming to outsiders but the group sticks to their plans and works on their projects, undisturbed. That is until an accident leaves one of the caretakers murdered by Jim, the local pub owner and head townie. A simple misunderstanding now has the surviving members of the group fighting for their lives against an entire town of bloodthirsty psychos.
Who wasn't excited to hear about Alex Chandon's return to the horror world with his English take on the redneck-cannibals in the film "Inbred"? Sadly, as it turns out, a lot of people since they haven't seen the amazing "Drillbit" or "Bad Karma", the worthless sods. For the rest of us, this was exciting news since the last time Alex made a movie was in early 2000 with "Cradle of Fear" and with his latest offering being a sub-genre staple, the possibilities were endless. Especially for the gore.
"Inbred" sticks to the basics; two care workers, Jeff and Kate, take a small group of troubled youths out to the countryside to help clean up and restore an old home. As usual, the townies seem a bit odd and unwelcoming to outsiders but nothing too out of the ordinary, minus one hillbilly's obsession with carrots. It all seems to be going well until Jeff slices his leg open on a piece of metal during one of the group's projects. The group takes Jeff to the local pub owner, Jim, who seemed like the only reasonable man in town, but Jim mistakes Jeff's accident as an injury caused by his son. A mistake that sends everyone tumbling down a blood soaked nightmare with Kate and the kids having to fight for their lives.
Making a genre-basic movie can be good or bad depending on who is at the helm. The fact that Alex is a long time horror fan who has been making movies almost as long, I would say, is what helped the most in allowing "Inbred" to work as a standard small-town-full-of-psychos tale. He's not trying to reinvent the wheel here -- it's a horror movie that's a horror movie. It's not trying to combine different genres or trying to outsmart the audience. It's here to service the desire to watch, for the most part, unlikeable city dwellers being taken apart gory piece by gory piece from crazed townies. Nothing more. Nothing less.
"Inbred" has a small element to it that made it scary. Which is amazing when you consider how many of these types of horror movies are out there. Most of the hillbilly-based movies involve a singular family of demented cannibals or killers kidnapping a family or a group of friends. "Inbred" involves not only a whole town but a whole town that enjoys torturing their victims for the sole purpose of entertainment. Again, most other movies are usually in for the quick kill -- victims are being killed because the hillbillies are crazy or hungry. Here, in this tiny town in "Inbred", it's being done to protect their own and for their enjoyment, more so than anything else. Where do you go and how do you fight off a whole town of lunatics?
I will definitely give the movie credit for that but, as expected, "Inbred" goes for the laughs. Mostly gross-out laughs, but laughs none the less. The humor removes a lot of the dread and atmosphere that the concept carries, for better or for worse. For me, it would have been disappointing (and it still is, just a little bit) if it wasn't for the fact that I knew that's the direction the movie was going to go because that's Alex's style. Not to mention that Alex makes it worthwhile by having Jim (Seamus O'Neill), the pub owner and head loon, become one of the most colorful and charismatic psychos that has graced the horror screen in some time. With his extremely un-PC blackface and disco tux, Seamus (and Alex) have actually managed to create an antagonist that you shamelessly root for. Sure, technically you're suppose to cheer for the protagonist but this is a horror movie. You want to see teenagers get killed and once you see Jim go full-nutter, you'll be wanting to buy him a round at the pub. Or maybe not.
Even though "Inbred" is definitely about the fan-service, it seems that the most upsetting part for fans is that the gore in "Inbred" is mostly CGI. Even I was surprised by how much was there. There were some practical effects to be found and some digital compositing between real and computer but a majority of the effects are computer generated. It's not a total loss as the effects still look good for CGI but it is still somewhat disheartening all the same. As unfortunate as that is.
For me, the effects were not a make-it-or-break-it deal since it didn't detour from the entertainment quality of "Inbred" and it's not necessarily as gory as one might think either. The biggest problem with "Inbred", I think, is that it is a very middle of the road kind of movie. Certainly "Inbred" lost a great deal of its momentum because of how long it stayed on the festival circuit and how long it took to reach us common folk. The anticipation that it built was lost due to everyone growing tired of waiting for the movie and moving on as a result. There is more to it than that because the movie, as a whole, felt like it was missing something. Almost a bit hollow since it felt as if the movie only did just enough. There could have and should have been more but it only went for the minimum. The character Jim is truly the only thing that stands out in the movie, as much as I hate to say that. "Inbred" will stick around because it's better than the latest "Wrong Turn" or that god awful "Frontiers" and it's a shame that the movie's staying power is based on the fact that its genre peers are weaker films. With that said, I still look forward to the next Alex Chandon movie, I just hope it doesn't take another 10 years for it to happen.