Actor, writer, director, Chris Moore's Perversion is an independent horror film that is both an homage as well as a re-imagining of the slasher genre, and a Hitchcock thriller, and a 70's Grindhouse feature with just a little bit of John Water's style gross out thrown in for good measure.
Ryan McNamara (Moore) is a survivor of a horrific incident that occurred to his family several years earlier. These days he prefers the confines of his suburban home where he lives with an older brother, (Jack McCafferty). Suffering from post-traumatic-syndrome, Ryan seems a rather tortured soul, and is constantly taking showers (which brings to mind that other celebrated tortured cinematic figure, Marion Crane of Psycho). To add to his problems, it seems that his neighbor is a creep with a penchant for high-school aged boys. If all this is not enough, strange phone calls taunt our hero as well as three masked stalkers who may, or may not, have been involved in the traumatic events earlier in Ryan's life.
Obviously shot on a shoe-string budget, Perversion has the feel of one of those early 70's horror films and that's what makes it so watchable. Whether it was by choice or design, Perversion has such an authentic low-fi vibe to it, that were it not for the inclusion of cell phones and the clothing, one might swear that it was cobbled together sometime during the summer of 1972.
One of the more fascinating aspects of the film is how Moore manages to turn the iconic "final girl" into a "final boy". Make no doubt, Ryan is really put upon, and he has to survive on his wits, his sex appeal, and his apparent incredibly deft use of sharp objects that will inflict the most damage on others at a moment's notice. If the numerous shower scenes echo Psycho or Carrie, it's the moment when Ryan is trying to calm down and he call's himself, "kid-o" that brings to mind Laurie Strode in Halloween.
True to form, a final boy or girl needs a BFF, and Brad Bauer ( Brad Mallette) fills the bill admirably. With his somewhat goofy demeanor, and plain likable presence, Mallette really stands out ... I think this kid could give Jason Mewes a run for his money. Actually the chemistry between Moore and Mallette feels real, and adds a lot to the story. I could not help but wonder what their back-story might be.Now before I fall over my self praising this movie, be advised of a few things: firstly, there are a lot of technical flaws (lighting for instance - sometimes, characters faces seem to disappear and then reappear - and some times the audio seemed very muddled). Also, there are heavy homosexual overtones included, so if that sort of thing is not your cup of tea, you may want to seek out the latest piece of heterosexual approved crap playing at your multiplex; the rest of you, come on in!
All in all, Perversion is a promising start from a young film maker, and despite a few flaws, has moments of fucking genius. Furthermore, you'll either scream or laugh out loud at the final revenge scene depending on how sick your sense of humor is.
I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes.