TITLE: Legacy of Thorn
YEAR RELEASED: 2014
DIRECTOR: MJ Dixon
CAST: Jade Wallis, Paris Rivers, Mem Ferda, Craig Channing
REVIEW BY SIMON BALL
So what happens when you transplant a US-style high school body count slasher to the north of England?
You get Legacy of Thorn
While Halloween has Michael Myers and Friday the 13th has Jason Voorhees, machete-wielding masked serial killer Thorn gets lumped with February 29th, which thankfully only comes around once every four years. This is a big problem if your birthday falls on the 29th like Jessica’s (Jade Wallis) does.
It sure wrecks Jessica’s 16th (or is that 4th ?) birthday when she and her pals get locked into the school, so when Jessica turns 20 (or is that five?) in 2012 she and the other three survivors of the 2008 school massacre stun the killer with a massive dose of electric current, whip his mask off and chain him up in a secret warehouse. But then the social cohesion of the group implodes as they argue about how to kill him and then as if things couldn’t get any worse the cops arrive and untie him. Not the best decision the boys in blue could have made as the ensuing bloody mayhem proves.
Legacy of Thorn contains all the usual ingredients you would expect in an American teeny slasher: fashion queen bitch and her gang, nerdy boy, bullies, cheerleaders, everybody running around in darkened corridors, hiding in cupboards and whimpering behind desks etc, only with a northern accent. The problem for me though was the film’s fragmented narrative structure, jumping between the events of 2008 and 2012 so I didn’t get the opportunity to properly get to know and dislike the characters before Thorn got to off them, which is I feel part of the real enjoyment of a body count movie.
And then there’s the question of Thorn’s origin. It’s never really explained and neither are the mysteriously tattooed locals who are in on Thorn’s doings.
Legacy of Thorn was shot on a tiny budget of £75,000 and it does show, particularly with the cops uniforms of stencilled high vis vests, SWAT baseball caps and toy guns, however despite the disjointed structure and plethora of unexplained loose ends it is a competently enough made movie for the money. Many of the cast have clearly learnt their craft on the stage, with ‘decent boy’ Eric (Paris Rivers) getting positively Shakespearean at times.