Sometimes I think I might be too critical on horror movies. Some people are picky eaters, I am a picky horror movie watcher. While I don’t hate every horror movie I see, it takes a really fresh idea, beautiful shots, outstanding acting, creepy environments or any combination to get me really invested in a horror movie these days. When I heard about Cold Moon, I’ll be truly honest, I didn’t have high hopes for it.
Cold Moon is directed and written by Griff Furst (The Magnificent Seven) based on the novel by Michael McDowell (Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas). The film stars Candy Clark (Zodiac), Chester Rushing (Stranger Things), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Josh Stewart (The Collection), Frank Whaley (Vacancy), and Robbie Kay (Once Upon A Time).
However, the movie really surprised me. The story goes that a 16-year-old girl is murdered on her way home. A man nearly hits Joanne Larkin on her bike, causing her to stop in the rain and he brutally throws her off a bridge and drowns her. Her grandmother and brother are left wondering what happened to her.
When her body is found, her grandmother Evelyn (Candy Clark) is convinced town drunk/asshole bank president Nathan Redfield (Josh Stewart) is the man behind the murder. But with most of the money in a small town, he seems untouchable. When the bodies begin to mount and all evidence points to Joanne’s teacher, it seems the real killer might get away with his crimes.
However, thanks to some good ol’ supernatural vengeance intervention, the real killer might get his comeuppance yet. SPOILERS FROM HERE ON IN!
So Granny Larkin was correct in her J’ACCUSE! Nathan is the dirty, dirty killer that not only killed the girl he impregnated but also her family for daring to prosecute him for his actions. They follow him, appearing to him and confusing him as to what’s real and what’s not, causing him to show his true colors to the world.
Frank Whaley is slightly tepid as Sheriff Hale who is investigating the murder. He’s not the standard dumb cop cliche, but he could be better at his job. While the acting of Candy Clark and Joanne’s brother Jerry (Chester Rushing) was reminiscent of the melodrama of a Twin Peaks episode, Stewart was stellar as Nathan. You really felt that he was losing his grip on reality and he came across as a true creep and predator.
Christopher Lloyd plays James Redfield, Nathan’s father. He does amazing at portraying a crotchety old man and it makes me sad to see him look so old. It happens to everyone, but still. The last two years has been rough in the way of our favorite celebrities. My little icy heart can’t take much more! But I digress…
The shots in Cold Moon were beautiful and artistic. Sometimes it seemed like they might be trying too hard but they did create a solid and constant environment with some lovely imagery. Sometimes the effects could seem a bit hokey but for the most part, they were seamless. There’s an instance where Joanne is riding the bicycle she was on the day she died, however, the bike wasn’t there and she was essentially riding air. It was gorgeous and creepy.
The ending wasn’t happy for anyone and the last shot was cliché but effective. Overall, I was actually impressed with Cold Moon. The story is straightforward with no real red herrings, the effects aren’t over the top and truly make you feel slightly uncomfortable, and the acting isn’t bad at all. I recommend this one for a dark night, cuddled on the couch with your steamy pumpkin whatever and enjoy yourself with an on par supernatural thriller.