Plot: Bernardsville seems like a nice place to live, as it is a quiet little town, but an evil runs just beneath the surface. A number of young women have gone missing and no one seems to have any answers, as even the police have no leads and aren’t sure to how to pursue the investigation. The detectives wind up at dead end after dead end, as clues are minimal and evidence is nonexistent, it seems. When a trio of young, beautiful women arrive in town for some relaxation, they have no idea they’ve just rented a vacation home from the town’s resident serial killer. Walter Banner (Joe Parascand) seems like an average, if awkward kind of dude, but in truth he has preyed upon young women for years and racked up an imposing body count. As the girls gossip and try to unwind, Walter calls in his eccentric brothers and plans to make his next set of murders into a real family affair.
Entertainment Value: A loser with mommy issues, a house full of beautiful women, and clueless police officers are at the center of Pretty Fine Things, a passable, though not all that memorable indie horror movie. The premise is a familiar one, as a cringe level dude takes out his oedipal issues on innocent women in violent ways, but some fresh beats are thrown in to keep things interesting. The pace is a little slow at times, but I did appreciate the colorful characters, both the attitude from the young women and the creepiness from Walter and his brothers. Joe Parascand has the lead and looks the part of a creeper, which helps the role a lot. He dials up the performance, but doesn’t go for broke and I wish he would have. Walter has some interesting elements and if Parascand has just ran with the creepiness, it could have worked wonders. The rest of the cast is solid, but seems stuck halfway between serious and over the top, never committing to one side or the other. Andrew Divoff and Lynn Lowry have small, but memorable roles as well. I think there are some fun idea in Pretty Fine Things, but I wish it was a wilder, more offbeat experience. But for fans of indie horror, creepy bald guys, or mommy issues, it is worth a peek.
No nakedness. The movie has some scantily clad moments throughout, which are nice and all, but no real sleaze. Given how creepy the brothers were, that’s a little bit of a surprise. There’s some blood here, but not buckets of the red stuff. The kills are mostly non graphic or the splashy stuff happens off screen, but there’s some crimson thrown around as well. The movie also has some solid makeup work in some scenes, with the eerie dead girls being a bright spot. The dialogue here is fine, with some girl talk, gossip, and Walter’s family drama. He is an odd duck to be sure, so he has some cringe moments that add to the fun and the roundtable with his brothers has some creepy talk. I wish this was a little more wild and Walter was fully unhinged, but at least his creepiness is solid enough. As for craziness, Pretty Fine Things has some eerie touches and Walter is a loon, but things never go that out of control. I wouldn’t have minded if the movie embraced the camp elements more or just went totally off the deep, as I think it could have juiced the entertainment value.
Overall Insanity: 2/10