In an effort to do something different, four friends head into Australia's outback to explore Charlie's Farm, the site where a violent family met their end at the hands of an angry mob. Despite all warnings, they persist in their horror-seeking adventure. Once there, the four friends are unaware that they are being watched. While exploring the property to prove the myth, they encounter Charlie, who shows them that some legends never die.
In the film, CHARLIE'S FARM, two pals, Jason, and Mick, are looking to get away for a few days. But instead of their usual of going to the beach, Mick suggests that along with Jason's girlfriend Natasha, along with her friend Melanie, they should head west, and travel some 8 hours, out to a place called "Charlie's Farm". The farm in question is a bit of an urban legend. One which states that said farm was once own by one John Wilson and his wife. However, John was no ordinary farmer, as he had a liking for killing those who would come to work for him, and after, he had a taste for flesh! One night, the locals caught wind of the Wilson's actions, and proceeded to lynch them. John and his wife were killed, however, their mentally handicapped son, Charlie was never found. Some think he too couldn't have survived on his own, but then, there are others who speculate that he is still alive and well, nearly 30 years later, killing backpackers and surviving off of them, not unlike how he and his parents did when he was a child. Despite being warned off from the old farm by a good of locals, Jason and the gang, still insist on heading to their destination. Some time passes, but eventually they arrive, to find that the farm is vacant, although there is indeed evidence of many a passersby over the years. Jason and Mick find potential in many of the farm's artifacts, and suggest that the group(which at this time has grown by 2, as a couple of backpackers, a male and female join them) split up into pairs, to look around and do other "things". This is when their initially peaceful getaway becomes a lot more chaotic. Because, out of the shadows, comes one Charlie Wilson, whom doesn't seem too pleased. Armed with a sharp blade, and freakish strength, Charlie proceeds to rip, and tear through the group one by one, proving that escaping the farm might be next to impossible,
Some time last year, I reviewed a revenge thriller that surprised me. That film was Writer/Director Chris Sun's DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL. In that film, a man is traumatized after the murder of his daughter, and proceeds to get revenge. It was ultra low budget, but I was impressed. With his latest release, CHARLIE'S FARM, he switches gears for a more tried and true approach - the Slasher film. And while CHARLIE'S FARM, isn't that different from many of the Slashers that we have already seen before, he brings to the subject the same sense of brutality that we saw in the previous DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL.
The set up for CHARLIE'S FARM is simple, as it is basically centered around an urban legend, and the film's character's curiosity to explore it. Yes, it's been done, but the way which CHARLIE'S FARM sets it up is enjoyable enough. In the film, after the girls figure out that the group's trip is about a lot more than horse riding an fishing, Mick(who is nicknamed "Donkey", on account of his often horniness), finally breaks down the tale, over a campfire. The film then goes into flashback mode, to some 30 years prior. This is where we meet the Wilson family, headed by the great Bill Moseley, as he portrays the father, John. Both John and his wife, are pretty vile, as they kill teens to put food on their table, and to feed their handicapped son, Charlie. It's the only kind of life that Charlie knows. Well, one night, the townsfolk had enough and decide to rid the town of the Wilson clan, and so they did. That is what they thought. But little Charlie just so happened to vanish. Of course, that is where the tale ends, as Charlie's whereabouts leave an air of mystery to the legend. It's a fun, but typical set up for things to come. Because, of course, Charlie doesn't stay hidden for long.
It is when Charlie does eventually show up, that CHARLIE'S FARM has it's most fun. But of course getting there is the film's biggest hurdle. Initially, the film gets by with comedic banter between Jason and Mick especially. However, when the group finally reaches the farm, that is where the pace sort of slows down a little. There is what seems to be lots of dialogue, and walking between our characters, until something truly happens. But fortunately for CHARLIE'S FARM, once the action picks up, it's mindless fun. Nathan Jones, someone that I knew first as a Professional Wrestler, in the WWE, as well as beyond, stars in the role of killer cannibal, "Charlie Wilson". Jones' size and strength go hand in hand for this type of villainous role. He's a pretty intimidating figure, as his character delivers brutal violence to his victims. Very nice special effects make this aspect fun to see. And as a bonus, the film also features a showdown between Jones, and one Kane Hodder, the man, of course known for portraying the role of Jason Vorhees the most consecutive times over the course of the FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise. In the film, Hodder plays former boxer, "Tony Stewart", whom just so happens to be a friend of some of the group. When he comes to check up on them at the farm, he goes head to head with Charlie. It is one of the rare occurrences where Hodder isn't the one doing the slaying.
Simply put, Chris Sun's Slasher film, CHARLIE'S FARM, is not something spectacular by any means. Plot wise, it's fairly basic and formulaic, but that's not to say that it isn't somewhat fun. The villain is cool. The look of "Charlie Wilson" really stands out. The makeup looks great, as do the film's practical special effects, which make for some enjoyable carnage. All together, although a little too familiar all around, there is still some fun to be had with CHARLIE'S FARM, just as long as you go in not expecting much in terms of "new".
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
In terms of CHARLIE'S FARM bringing something new to the Slasher sub-genre, it doesn't. It is a film that treads that all too familiar line. Everything from the setup, to the villain's pursuit has been done, and seen before. So what it comes down to for a film such as this one, is that, although familiar, can the film still be enjoyed? In the case of CHARLIE'S FARM i'd say, yes, somewhat. It's major problem is that it takes awhile to get started. But once it does, it's fairly enjoyable, if only for its gore alone.