Chris Moore

All posts tagged Chris Moore

Review: A Stranger Among the Living

Published May 29, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

A Stranger Among the Living

I think the true social importance of horror films is how we often readily identify with the characters at the heart of a story’s bloody crisis. It would have been much more difficult me for to survive my rural, often un-fabulous childhood without Halloween’s Laurie and Friday the 13th Part 3’s Chris filling me with determination and hope. Similarly, the gateway into openly gay writer-director Chris Moore’s moody chiller A Stranger Among the Living is how much we sympathize and relate to Henry Lyle, the film’s sensitive lead who finds his life thrown off balance after a violent crime occurs at his place of work.

A struggling actor with an emotionally suffocating mother, Lyle finds himself shadowed here by mysterious figures after he switches assignments with a fellow teacher in order to attend an audition. When his coworker expires in a school shooting, he soon realizes, much like Carnival of Souls’ Mary Henry or Final Destination’s Alex Browning, that death isn’t quite through with him yet.

Played with quiet conviction by the talented Jake Milton, Lyle is already burdened by the time we meet him. Unfulfilled with his career path, he is seemingly afraid to commit too fully to any life choice less he be disappointed. He is uninterested in romance, making him perhaps the first asexual protagonist in a genre project. But even the virgin as final girl/guy trope may not save him as his friends and family soon begin to disappear or meet mysterious fates.

A Stranger Among the Living 2That Moore makes those supporting contemporaries an often sympathetic and aggregable bunch is another of this film’s strengths. Even as she tries to strangle the few tremulous ambitions that Henry retains, actress Victoria Posey brings a soft vulnerability to Patsy, Lyle’s needy, traumatized mother. Moore, himself, brings a ray of fun and energy into the film’s world with his take on the flamboyant Jarvis Coker, a zany addict who ingratiates himself into Henry’s life after they meet at a support group.

As with his previous films, including Blessed Are the Children and Triggered, Moore applies a bit of political consciousness here, as well. But, most importantly, with Henry he presents us with a character that reflects the insecurities and indecisions that we all so often face in a world that seems odder and more hostile with every passing moment.

More information on Stranger, including screening events and links, is available at https://www.facebook.com/astrangeramongtheliving/.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

 

 

 

Review: Triggered

Published September 12, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

triggered poster.jpg

You have to hand it to writer-director Chris Moore. He always knows how to spin an issue without negating its rightful purpose. His first feature Blessed Are the Children, was a horror film treatise that looked at the complexities of the abortion issue. His latest, Triggered, explores the complications of being politically woke or as the case is here, being way, way too woke.

Callie (Meredith Moller) is a high school student who is ready to take down anyone who discriminates. Unfortunately, the fact that her overenthusiastic calling out is often based on misguided perceptions is totally lost on her. Ian (Jesse Dalton), her gay best friend, puts up with her antics, grudgingly, and because his open homosexuality often puts a damper on other forms of schoolyard camaraderie. But as Callie’s increasingly out of control finger pointing and warped world view is coupled with the arrival of a serial killer, he soon finds that he may finally have to strike out on his own in order to survive.

With sharp humor, Moore looks at the ways in which political correctness may not always be founded in necessity here. Thus, while reveling in the comedic nature of this viewpoint and in the very bloody nature of the classic slasher prototype, Moore also allows us to examine our own beliefs and look deep within our justified outrage to find a necessary balance – a true artistic feat.

triggered amanda

Nicely, staying true to indie terror expectedness, Moore gives original A Nightmare on Elm Street sweetheart Amanda Wyss a role here. But, he subverts expectations, once again, by using her for more than a momentary moment of fan-folk glee. As Gloria Fielding, one of Callie’s advisors, Wyss is a major participant in the plot proceedings and is given a wide range of emotions to tackle. From exasperation to grief to survivalist determination, Wyss delivers with a bold and thoughtful performance. She, along with Moller and Dalton, are deserving of any film festival awards that should, rightfully, come their way.

Importantly, Moore also dashes another common horror movie dynamic here. Instead of showering in a preponderance of female breasts and buttocks, all the nudity here is of the male variety. This adds a fresh, desperately needed spin on the exploitative measures of these films…and definitely gives the testosterone loving audience members something to look forward to.

Currently hitting the festival circuit, you too can point a biased finger at all of Triggered’s activities at https://www.facebook.com/FindURSafeSpace.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com.biggayhorrorfan

Review: Blessed Are the Children

Published February 2, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

blessed-are-posterWillow, the adorable toddler in the apartment across from me, always seems to be in front of my door when I’m making a quick exit for work or the grocery store. She, breathlessly, will tell me about her adventures at her babysitter’s house or how her cat, always misbehaving, has stepped on her feet again. I’ll cluck, encouragingly or sympathetically (whatever the case may call for), and hurry on my way. If that is stalking, I’ll take it.

Traci, a woman breaking away from a violent relationship, in director-writer Chris Moore’s emotional Blessed Are the Children, though, finds herself, unfortunately, fixated upon by some violent, mask wearing strangers after her visit to a women’s clinic. These mysterious villains are soon obliterating the men in her life and are also putting Traci and her roommates, Mandy and Erin, in harm’s way, as well. Could these figures be tied in with Traci’s disapproving mother or is there something much more malevolent at work here?

Whatever the answers, Moore is to be highly commended for taking a series of social issues and placing them, firmly, in the context of the traditional slasher film. He delves into all the reasons that Traci (a finely modulated Kaley Ball) decides an abortion is the right decision for her and, with the effervescent help of actress Keni Bounds, he creates one of the strongest lesbian characters to ever benefit a genre film with Mandy. Fun, mothering and complex, she is the standout personality here.blessed-are-mandy

Granted, it’s a fine line to walk in a film wallowing in violence and retribution. There is always the chance that certain viewers will assume that Moore is suggesting that Traci and Mandy deserve any bad tidings that come their way. But by the film’s end, one almost imagines that it is this duo, along with Arian Thigpen’s delightfully awkward Erin, that are the real “children” being referred to in the movie’s title, so lovingly are their quirks, foibles and devotion for each other explored. 

Nicely, Moore also provides the expected bloodshed and several twists are sure to give audience members’ a nice sense of surprise, as well. One almost wishes the final act of the film was a bit tighter, but the penultimate moments of the movie are chillingly and haunting rendered, making this project, as a whole, an extremely memorable one. Most importantly, this fadeout also provides a prescient and poetic mediation on the current state of the world, one where hate and bigotry seem relentless and never-ending and we are all innocents in danger of losing not only are freedoms, but our very lives, as well.

https://www.facebook.com/childrenareblessed/

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan