Bastard (2015) Horrorfest Review

After Dark Horrorfest has produced quite a few decent flicks for those of us in the horror community. The Final (2010), Lake Dead (2007), Tooth and Nail (2007), Autopsy (2008), and Perkins 14 (2009) are just a few of them. As a horror fan, I look forward to each batch of films in order to sift through them and find the hidden gems. This was my outlook when I started 2015’s  Bastard. Hearing things like, “Breathes fresh air into the slasher genre,” gave me hope. Could it live up to these raving reviews? Well, let’s find out.


Bastard follows a small group of people, including a married couple who are serial killers, who decide to stay at a reclusive bed and breakfast. Shortly after, a masked killer begins to wreak havoc and pick off the group, one by one.


The tone is set very early in Bastard. It’s extremely gritty and brutal. I, personally, don’t mind that one bit. In fact, going in I was expecting something in the vein of The Devils Rejects (2005). The characters were likable, yet despicable, and the story started out quite entertaining. I’m sure you can see the “but” coming, so I will just get to it. Bastard loses steam by not continuing the interesting story. Instead, it goes balls out for shock value. It is 2016, and anything that can be done has been done. I’ve seen spines ripped out via Hatchet (2006) and babies cut out of their mother’s womb thanks to the French film, Inside (2007). What would bring fresh air to the dying slasher genre would be a film with some substance. If co-directors Patrick Robert Young and Powell Robinson would study what worked in the ’90s, we might get a decent, slice-and-dice slasher film next time. There is absolutely no originality within Bastard. It is most certainly no breath of fresh air. All that Bastard has to offer is blood with a side of guts.

I don’t like to completely tear a film apart. Bastard does have its good points. As I previously mentioned, the characters are fleshed out enough to enjoy. The newlywed serial killers are hilarious. The woman who runs the bed and breakfast is fun because she speaks her mind with no filter. I also applaud them for having a homosexual cop who’s backstory fits perfectly within the films plot. If they would have continued each character’s storyline as the murders ensued, this would have been quite the experience. Unfortunately, once the blood starts to pour, the substance disappears.


To quote Randy from Scream (1996), there is a formula to these things. Bastard started out following that formula and then abandoned it for cheap thrills and generic gore. It’s a risk that, while sometimes necessary, doesn’t always pay off. In this instance, it cost them what could have been a decent horror film. I have to say I am disappointed and wish that they would have lived up to the potential they had created for themselves. If script writer Robert Patrick Young can learn from his mistakes and figure out how to balance the story with both action and emotion, he will be quite successful. In Bastard, the lucky ones may die first. The viewers, unfortunately, won’t get such an easy way out. Bastard is not the gem in the latest batch of the Horrorfest films.


About Preston Holt

At 5 years old i was catapulted in to the horror genre and have had no desire to ever leave it. I'm 26 years old with a great sense of humor and a thirst for the horror industry that just will never be quenched. I have a horror review site of my own called cabinintheweb reviews and when I'm not writing about, or watching, horror films, I am spending time with my spouse and my animals.

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