Instant Gratification Quick Takes: August 14-17, 2011

Highlighting odd and off-beat new releases to watch instantly on Netflix

New for August 14-17, 2011

The Reef (2010), Boat en route to Indonesia capsizes, leaving a group of friends stranded at sea with only a great white shark to keep them company. The Reef inevitably has faced comparisons to Open Water — both have boaters stranded at sea being stalked by sharks. I, for one, have been terrified by the ocean for many years. Not because of sharks, mind you. I once stepped on a crab while wading in the ocean, although it could have been a rock or a crab-shaped rock or who knows what else since it was the Atlantic Ocean, more specifically — Ocean City, New Jersey. Chills. Either way, that was many years ago now and the experience freaked me out so bad that only recently have I gathered the courage to step back in to the water. I guess what I’m trying to say is, do we really need another killer shark movie? Aren’t there plenty of other scary things hiding out in the murky depths to pinch our feet or worse? The Reef is an Australian production, by the way. (Available until August 12, 2012) [Links: IMDb, Trailer]

Fright Flick (2011), directed by Israel Luna, with Chad Allen, Richard D. Curtin, Todd Jenkins, Daphne Khoury, Adam Kitchen, Jon Paul Burkhart, Allyn Carrell, Charles Baker, Tom Zembrod and Natalie Jones – Serial killer stalks and kills various Hollywood types filming a slasher flick in Texas. Fright Flick inevitably has faced comparisons to Scream 3 — both movies have the crew of a horror film being offed by an unknown killer. (Whoa … deja vu.) Fright Flick also inevitably should face comparisons to The Reef — both movies shamelessly steal their premises from larger, more successful movies. Okay, there is a difference. Open Water was a good film that executed a good idea well. Scream 3 had a compelling premise, but blew it. Scream 3‘s plot was just asking to be stolen and turned into a better movie. Fright Flick, however, is not that movie. While the requisite kill scenes — the highlight of any slasher film — are exceptionally gory and well-executed (no pun intended), the lead-up to each murder is almost completely lacking in tension. Worse yet is what comes in-between the murders. We get it. These characters are obnoxious. You want to see them murdered. But could the killer please hurry? I don’t want to listen to them talk any longer. Halfway through Fright Flick, the only person you want to see murdered is director Israel Luna. Ironically, he shows up in a cameo as a corpse. Fright Flick was especially disappointing because I had just watched Luna’s prior film, Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives, and loved it. It’s also available to watch instantly on Netflix. If you have to choose, go with Trannies. (Available until August 12, 2012) [Links: IMDb, Trailer]

Hey! Follow Matt on Twitter at @CM_MattDunn!

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