The Stitcher (2007) – By Nic Brown

There is nothing like a nice weekend away from it all. You go out to the country with some friends to just relax and have a good time. Of course we all know this usually doesn’t go so well in the world of horror. So when Brittany (Carmen Garrison) inherits her aunt’s lake house in the woods just outside a small town in rural Oklahoma, you know there will be trouble. This is the setting for Next Monkey Horror Film’s The Stitcher.

Brittany invites her friends to come out for a weekend of boating, swimming and fun. However, even before they arrive things seem strange. The town near the lake house is almost deserted and the locals that they do meet are strange and unfriendly. This could be passed off as small town xenophobia, except that Brittany’s friends start vanishing one by one. We learn that there is a legendary killer called “the Stitcher” who stalks the town on a quest to fill a strange obsession and take what he wants from his victims. What he actually wants may surprise you, but I won’t give that away.

The basic elements of The Stitcher are not new. Remote location, strange killer and odd hillbilly types are staples of horror films. What makes The Stitcher different is the way writer and director Darla Enlow went out of her way to craft a film that goes beyond the conventions of a normal slasher film. An example of this is the victims. Usually the group in question would be high school or college kids out for a drunken weekend, that isn’t the case here. Brittany and her friends are for the most part, all young professionals looking to get away from the stress of their daily lives for a bit. This allows Enlow to give the characters more depth and thus the audience can be more empathetic to them and their situation.

The Stitcher doesn’t follow the norm for victims dying either. Many characters that the audience is led to believe are dead reappear later. This isn’t to say that they escape their fate, but it increases the shock value of the film as we learn that once he’s gotten what he wants, the killer may leave victims alive to revisit them later. Of course sometimes a strength can become a weakness and at times the audience can be confused determining who is alive, who’s dead. Also, the killer, like many of his kind in films, suffers from slasher teleportation. This is a condition that allows him to appear almost anywhere at anytime, despite having no visible means of transportation.

Overall, The Stitcher is a good film. Enlow’s story is interesting and the cast delivers first rate performances. There are a number of scares, twists and a surprising amount of humor in the film. Also worth noting is the quality of the overall production. Despite having the same budget limitations that face many independent films, The Stitcher doesn’t look cheaply made. In fact areas where many films cut corners, such as the opening credits and the musical score, are very well done and add to the film’s appeal. So if you’re in the mood for a little slasher fun with a unique twist, check out The Stitcher and remember to button up before the show!