REview: Exeter (2015) | Black Comedy Done Well

I really enjoyed Marcus Nispel’s Exeter as a black comedy though the thing is I’m not entirely sure that that’s exactly the way it was intended.

The movie revolves around a bunch of young people – relatively speaking – who decide to party in a institution for troubled young people, who seemingly end up waking up an evil entity that attempts to possess the seve people remained after the party had dissipated.

Now the plot is virtually the same as 1988’s Night of the Demons – except being not quite as fantastical in its violence – but that black humor elevates it in my book.

Nispel, known primarily for music videos, has an excellent eye and the muted color palate and creepy setting works particularly well.

The story, by Nispel and Kirsten Elms, is sporadically nonsensical but the reactions of the characters to what’s going on around them feels authentic, except for some really odd – though most are quickly missed so keep your eyes open! – exceptions, which contribute to that sense of it being a black comedy more than a pure horror film.

It really surprised me because I can recall having seen two of Nispel’s movies in the past – his remake of Friday the 13th and Conan the Barbarian come to mind, neither of which were particularly good – making Exeter by my reckoning the best movie he’s done thus far.


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