This Day in Horror

20 September 2013

Saturday Morning Mystery 2012 - REVIEW

One of the things I loved as a kid was getting up on Saturday mornings and racing my sister to see who could get to the TV first. It didn't really matter who won, we'd always end up in a fight that led to me slamming her head with a cabinet door and her threatening to kill me with a can of Spaghetti O's. I shit you not, that really happened. But I digress... what I was trying to get to was that Scooby Doo was always one of my favorites. It's kinda like a subtle introduction to horror for kids, at least that's what I think anyway. So, when I heard about this one, I was immediately intrigued.
In Saturday Morning Mystery (previously Saturday Morning Massacre), a team of amateur paranormal investigators struggle to make ends meet by debunking reports of supernatural incidents. With the group on the verge of bankruptcy, Nancy (Ashley Spillers) takes on a case involving rumors of suspicious disappearances and violent deaths linked with the abandoned Kyser schoolhouse. Discounting stories of satanic practices, the team proceeds, desperately chasing cash and the opportunity to encounter their lives' mission - to catch a real ghost. On a tour guided by the local sheriff (Paul Gordon), the team learns of the schoolhouse's gruesome past. Despite the sheriff's advice to spend the night in a hotel, they decide to stay, set up their gear and prepare for nightfall. When the sun goes down, the truth comes out: the Kyser house might actually be haunted by sadistic spirits - or something even worse.

As with the original Scooby Doo, we're given a cast of four main characters, Nancy, Floyd (Jonny Mars), Chad (Adam Tate) and Gwen (Josephine Decker) and let's not forget their trusty dog, Hamlet. All of whom bear some resemblance to the original "Gang", be it through their voices, actions and so on. We're introduced to them via opening dialogue by Nancy, which immediately settles me a bit as she delivers her lines with great promise AND a hint of "Velma". I'm always leery about how the acting will be in indie films mainly because when you're working on a micro budget, your options are sometimes limited but in this case, I was very pleased. Every one of the actors pulled it off like seasoned pros. No, they're not all newbies but still, they are more than responsible for holding this film together in more ways than one. There are so many things that can really damage a films credibility and bad acting is one of them. No worries, you won't find any of that here.

It also doesn't hurt that director Spencer Parsons knows his shit. Yes, he's relatively new to the scene but the simple way he played with shadows and corners in this film tells me he's gonna have quite the career as a film maker. He has an obvious passion for the genre and film making in general. Saturday Morning Mystery is shot very well and given the circumstances, (a relatively dark house), that's saying a lot. There's a lot to putting together a good film. You have to have a crew that you trust and a cast you believe in and this whole "Gang" fit together rather perfectly. The dialogue and interaction between the characters seemed genuine and believable and I liked that while it's loosely based on the cartoon, it didn't reference it so much that it became redundant and boring. Watch for the hallway chase scene... it's EPIC! In the end, it breaks down to this, Saturday Morning Mystery is what Scooby Doo never was... REAL. If you're not a fan of Scooby Doo, then you're EVIL (just kidding but not really), you probably won't dig this one but for the rest of you I would definitely recommend it! 

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