Hey gang, Valkor here. Roger Sampson is one of a handful of directors whom I enjoy keeping tabs on… or rather they don’t have a problem when letting me know that their new stuff is available to review. He’s been hard at working putting the finishing touches to his “Forces of Horror” anthology series and it has finally come to completion with the short film “The Origin of Species”. Minor spoilers ahead!
The Origins of Species kicks off with daddy/daughter Kyle (Lance Eakright) and Abigail (Gracie Whitton), walking along a lone countryside road, until they reach the home of Adrasteia (April Hartman); claiming that his car broke down, Kyle ask Adrasteia for assistance. But when they’re allowed inside, Klye knocks her out and ties her up. As it turns out Kyle is a serial killer that has been terrorizing the town for some time. Yet unbeknownst to him, it’s about to become painfully obvious that he’s going to get more than what he bargained for… so much more.
The Origins of Species concludes the theme of short films that cover a specific genre; in this case we deal with the terror of home invasions... with a twist. And if there's going to be a volume two down the line, I’d love to see masked slashers, ghosts or even killer creatures as the subject. Now those would be a lot of fun. For now, let’s delve into the TOV Breakdown and see how well Sampson's latest film fares against the previous batch.
Of the previous three films, “Revelations” topped out as my favorite… that is until “The Origins of Species” entered my world – and rocked it! The latest short adds a refreshing and sinister twist to the “home invasion” genre, while also tossing in enough action to keep things interesting and flowing at smooth pace. While the story might be the film’s strongest suit, the acting also helps and those who participated gave some topnotch performances. But big ups once again goes to Grace Whitton, who goes full circle from Revelations and gives new meaning to the term “Faces of Horror” as she once again gives yours truly the fright of his life… which isn’t all that easy considering all the horror films I get to watch. I hope this isn’t the end to “Forces of Horror” series as “The Origins of Species” shows that Sampson and co has the chops to take the horror genre to a whole new level of awesome.
Not really a negative on the film, but I kinda wish it were longer so we could learn a bit more about how the vampires are treated in this film, such as: they’re out during the day, so is it direct sunlight that affects them or is this a new spin on vampires altogether where the rules of vampires don't really apply? Are they even vampires (they do drink blood like vampires) or something similar along those lines? And just how many are there? Are we talking just within that location or all over the world? So many questions, but that’s a good thing if a film can make you think on that level.
You can check out “The Origin of Species” in the embedded video below; and if you’ve been following my reviews since the first short, know that this latest effort from Sampson and co is truly the best of the bunch. If anything, Gracie Whitton will shock the socks right off of ya! And out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving it a perfect 5.