Four irritating kids go into a hillbilly town looking into a local legend and are killed by deformed hillbillies.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God. – Leviticus 21:16-21
This scripture from the Bible is the basis for the horror film Albino Farm, a movie that turns out to be just another Wrong Turn in the land of the hillbilly slashers. Four unlikeable kids are travelling through the land of the hillbilly, working on an assignment for their history class. They end up in the town of Shiloh and soon learn they are the only normal people in the area. Everyone else is deformed in one way or another. Some are simply defects, such as a deformed hand, dwarfism or blindness. Others are more pronounced such as the pig-faced woman.
It is in the area of makeup effects and prosthetics that this film rises above other efforts. Jason Barnett, who has worked on films as varied as Where the Wild Things Are, Watchmen, Hellboy and Being John Malkovich, creates some fantastic practical creature effects here and, when we are allowed to see them, it is a delight. There are moments where the creatures attack that look great and other lighter moments, such as when two characters find themselves sewn together that is just creepy.
That is what is good about the movie.
The scripture I listed above is from the Old Testament, a time when the scribes and Pharisees lived with a sense of elitism. It is not until Jesus arrived in the New Testament that these ways of arrogance were deemed inappropriate. The scripture has been interpreted by some people to prove God is “prejudice against the sick, lame, blind, defected…” Whether you look at it in that manner or see it as a place in history that changed over the years (such as the idea of slavery) is your choice. However, this sentiment is ripe for a horror movie and Albino Farm tries to milk it for what it is worth.
The town of Shiloh is named after the Biblical town which was the center or worship. In this town, the kids meet an old blind man who warns them to leave and not seek the legend of Albino Farm. The kids, who have never heard of this legend, decide to check it out and you know what happens next. In the town is also a church that is open to whoever needs help and outside of town in a revival tent, with a worship service in motion. The movie takes the scripture, adds many Biblical undertones and then sets the horror at the horrific Albino Farm in motion.
The biggest problem is the actors. The four kids are very unlikable. After the first five minutes we spend with them, we are already ready for them to die. The fact that it takes over 45 minutes to see the first one fall is a problem with the film. When a horror movie takes that long to set up the deaths, it must contain good acting to set up the characters. That is non-existent in this movie. The kids are brats and deserve everything that is coming to them and the killers are not interesting enough to get behind either. What ends up happening is that there is no one to root for in the movie and it becomes a series of events that leads to the end. Even Chris Jericho, the WWE superstar that has a ton of charisma inside the ring, is miscast as a dirty, raunchy hillbilly, taking away the one thing that makes him entertaining to watch.
By the time the killing starts, you are more than ready to turn it off. The final quarter of the movie is a decent slasher flick with a lot of great gore and an ending that is really inspired as well, but it takes too long to get there. Everything in the first half of the movie is cheap jump scares that don’t work on many occasions because of poor editing. The movie is just not directed in a way that makes it suspenseful. There are too many movies in this niche genre and Albino Farm is immediately forgettable.
All I received was a promo from the studio, so I don’t know if it will contain anything extra. The picture was very often dark and hard to see. The sound is good, but not enough to offset the picture quality. I can’t really comment on how the DVD will actually look and sound or if there are any extras, but based on the version I was sent, I have to count off for the poor picture quality.