Director Neil Jones, whose first horror film The Lost (2006) shows his promising insight into the genre, creates Deranged with the assistance of screenwriters Oscar Carrion and Marcia Do Vales, who also star in this production, surrounding indie slasher mayhem for the audience. Neil’s talents have grown each time as he steps into the role of directing the horror and here again; under his study of the genre he puts forth the best efforts in creating terrifying ordeals over personal deep rooted anger of forgotten memories. The studio MTI Home Video provides a well maintained vehicle for Marcia, as the focus of the film from start to finish, and in fact graces the cover as well.
The plot of this straight to DVD horror film, includes Marcia Do Vales as, Gabriella, a bride having her bachelorette party in Spain and inviting three of her British friends, who endure a two-hour drive from the airport, to a mansion from size only, the interior truly appear less desirable. The group, extremely stereotypical for a genre film, a virginal woman, Mary (a play on the name from religious standpoint), portrayed by Natalia Celino, Sylvia (Victoria Broom) a worldly knowledgeable woman who brags about sexual conquests, and lastly a meek, quiet Anna (Tabitha Quitman) seems to each hold their opinions close the vest. Victoria really shows her abilities to command control of scenes, and a firm grasp of a horror actress, for many fans in the genre, will recall her from The ABCs of Death 2 (2014) and soon to see her in the Zombie Women of Satan 2 (2015). Now, one must note that the movie does contain the clichés of no mobile signal, lost keys, breaking horror rules and a secretively locked room, never clearly explained or explored; however, before the party really starts Gabriella steps out to a feed the dog only to incur the wrath of the beast and attacks her, which occurs almost simultaneously as a police officer arrives only to reveal much more, the evening’s entertainment and experience in CPR tries to ‘save’ Gabriella but to no avail. The film makes one wonder how worthwhile it is to have friends, to trust and not deceive one out of earshot. In addition, the jealously factor among these friends is like a live wire to water, in moment of panic, the deep buried greed, grudges rip open exposing old wounds and hatred to each other in a crisis.
Although the set design appears polished and the cinematography gives the appeal to the viewers, the elements in the scenes fit convincingly well for the entertainment factors, the shortness of the production wonders what occurred in the editing room as the standard horror film clocks at 90-minutes as oppose to 78 for this movie. The next glaring issue is the artwork for the cover, one might consider it nitpicking or even petty, but that’s hardly the case. The figure on the box is none-other-than Marcia Do Vales’ character all dolled up in a blood covered and smeared appearance and very much alive on a swing. Therefore, when the audience views the film, and spots both the swing-set and Gabriella’s collapse and death, everyone knows this obvious red-herring, she’s not dead, the object of a horror, thriller or even a mystery film, hide the killer, not broadcast it from the get-go! For example, if one didn’t know anything about the horror films Sleepaway Camp (1983) the artwork shows only a sneaker and bloody knife, and then Friday the 13th (1980) the shadowy outline of a killer man or woman no one knows, that is the point, to give intrigue for the ah ha moment. In addition, sometimes the weapon tends to overpower the killer’s strengths and while that might work for a horror comedy it fails to convey the murderous raging intent of the screen.
An interesting concept for a thriller, with elements of horror, splattered among the film, with a steady black humor layered in the film; nevertheless the concept of keeping the killer secret, losing itself completely by 20-minute mark when Gabriella hits the floor, and that is not revealing a spoiler because the cover art does it already. Aside from that issue the film, completes the necessary parts and gives the audience a slashing deranged female killer, who madly seeks more mischief than running time permits.