As a horror fan and past that a slasher film fan there’s nothing worse than a boring slasher. For me, I want them to be fun (or dark), a bit of a whodunnit with a mystery about WHO is killing or WHY they are doing it, and I wanna have a big and fun finale.
What I DON’T want is a boring, plodding film with actors in their late twenties pretending to be almost ten years younger, and a lead that is as charismatic as milquetoast.
HE KNOWS is about a young woman engaged to a man’s-man sort of fella who goes off with his bros for a debaucherous bachelor weekend before their impending nuptials. What no one knows is that there’s a madman on the loose who kills women just before their weddings due to some sort of jilted lover hang up. Cue a bunch of girlfriends that are little more than caricatures and knife fodder, and an ex of the lead that is plucky in a stalker sort of sense and you have this movie.
What a mess.
There is no pace, there is no drama, there is no tension, no gore, and the killer could scarcely have less personality if he were asleep. This is a by the numbers rip off of HALLOWEEN and, if you ask me, MY BLOODY VALENTINE. There needed to be more to this. We needed to care about the cop that was the ex-fiancée of the first woman killed and not just to see him shouting and giving bug eyes. And the lead actress, bless her heart, is awful. They created her as the typical screaming heroine who no one believes – why did men never believe women were being stalked in these movies, yeesh! – and who only tries to save herself out of having no choice.
The thing here is that there are the elements of drama and scares. Take a film like BACK CHRISTMAS, which COULD be a wet noodle slasher but which adds in unresolved drama between two lovers, the emotional tragedy of a missing loved one, a killer that is utterly haunting, and direction that have made that film the classic it is. This film is a wet pair of slacks. I literally regret every moment spent with it and the $3 I spent ON it. Even as a dyed in the wool slasher fan this is the sort of thing that only the diehards will like and even then, those folks should have higher standards.
The one good thing I can say here is that Tom Hanks is in the film for all of ten minutes, if that, and that is the most interesting and charismatic that this film can muster. In that scant time, you can already see someone who just knows how to act and has a presence about them.
Shame none of that rubbed off on the film or anyone in it.
(WHICH, by the by, there is another recognizable actor but his part, as a lecherous college prof, is embarrassing in every way).
1 out of 5