There are certain genre films that you just know, before a frame has even flickered onto the screen, have a very strong chance of being crap.

And, I’ll be brutally honest, when you sit down to watch a film centred around a serial killer who transfers his soul into a drone to enable him to continue his vicious rampage after death, alarms bells are ringing.

Let’s not beat about the bush here – the likes of the original Child’s Play (a clear influence) have demonstrated very well that there is mileage in this sort of thing. And, as people seem to forget, the 80s original was played pretty straight, offering up a memorable horror flick that resonated (and continues to resonate) with genre audiences.

And there’s the rub with The Drone, director Jordan Rubin’s follow-up to previous Frightfest entry Zombeavers. The tone is simply all over the place, with scenes veering from slapstick to wild gore to supposedly ‘genuine’ scares.

The problem here – and it pains me to write this – is the performance of Alex Essoe, an actress who has lit up horror entries like Starry Eyes and Tales Of Halloween in the past. There is nothing wrong with her turn as such, it simply belongs in a different film.

The Drone opens with notorious serial killer/peeping tom The Violator being cornered by armed police, at which point he does the whole chanting/soul switch thing before being gunned down. Off flies the possessed drone, into the lives of a newly-married couple (Essoe and John Brotherton) who have just moved into a big new home.

Brotherton’s Chris loves this new gadget that has literally fallen into his lap but, before long the drone starts to act on its own, spying on neighbours and then moving on to more sinister antics.

And here’s where the story starts to break down, as it takes FAR too long for the couple to realise something is up. Sure, the first thought that pops into your head is unlikely to be ‘the drone must be possessed by a dead serial killer’ but there is clearly something wrong with it.

The movie clearly plays for laughs at times and Brotherton is in on the joke, wisecracking and very tongue-in-cheek. But Essoe plays everything straight, and the jars in tone consistently stop the film in its tracks (or perhaps that should be flight?). The Drone does provide entertainment value – the whole thing is so outlandish it would be hard not to raise a smile – and there is some gore on offer, but the overall product is really not that good.

Arrow Video Frightfest Review: The Drone
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About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle