Side Sho

Year:  2007
Director:  Michael D'Anna
Cast:  John David Hart, Toni Robider, J.R. Reynolds, Dana Poulson

Yet another film about a group of less-than-intelligent and annoying individuals--this time, a bickering family--on a road trip who wander off their planned travel route for either a short-cut or, in this case, to visit a run-down side show attraction. The results, as expected, are not at all good, as this particular side show is home to a bunch of lunatic, in-bred residents who are escaped prison inmates from years before.  The various members of the family wander off to view the various attractions, only to be scared away.  Thinking they made it safely on their way, the van tire explodes (surprise!), leaving them to seek refuge and accommodations in the small town, which we find out is inhabited solely by the freaks (surprise!).

This film plays out exactly as expected, implementing every genre cliche along the way, with the family being stalked and killed off one by one by the freaks who reside at the side show attraction.  At times, there is some fighting back on the family's part, but these are probably among the worst scenes in the film, as they are badly executed because the victims clumsy attempts at putting up a struggle are completely and utterly awkward and fake looking. It was obvious, and not only by these particular scenes, that the actors were very limited in their craft.   Besides the acting and clumsy script,  the totally inappropriate soundtrack that is played during particular scenes that completely ruins whatever little atmosphere and mood the film possesses.  Generally, films of this type often are able to redeem themselves in some area, but it is like pulling teeth to think of what makes this film the least bit entertaining or watchable. The special effects are lousy and the ending will make anyone who makes it to the end of the film want to punch their television, particularly because the film pretty awful  to begin with and the ending makes the entire film pointless.

Bottom line, this is a film with a premise that has been done a thousands times, only much better.  

Fright Meter Grade:

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