Psycho Goreman might sound and look like your typical horror film. It’s about an ancient alien monster that is reawakened by two kids. This monster is usually bloodthirsty and uncontrollable, but because of an amulet, his powers are now in the hands of one little girl. It’s a pretty interesting premise for a horror/comedy. For those looking for outright scares, this one won’t satiate that desire. For people looking for a cute romp involving some pretty decent effects and some good child acting, Psycho Goreman might be for you.
Steven Kostanski writes and directs this film which leans heavily on it’s three main characters. Luke and Mimi are siblings that have an interesting relationship. They play games together, but Mimi is pretty cruel to her older brother. She bosses him around, emasculates him, and is just generally not nice. Somehow this doesn’t make you want to see her get comeuppance though. Mimi is played by Nita-Josee Hanna, and it’s one of the better child acting performances in a role like this. She does go a bit over the top in some scenes, but overall it’s a great performance. Luke is played by Owen Myre, and he also gives a performance that makes sense and fits with the audience feeling sympathetic for him. The choices that both of them make are paid off throughout the third act of the film.
Psycho Goreman Has Surprisingly Good Effects
Having worked on similarly styled films in the past, I know that the effects in these films are pretty finicky. Something involving multiple costumed monsters fighting is almost a miracle if it gets pulled off and looks good on camera. Psycho Goreman never looks fake or flimsy whenever he’s on screen. It’s a testament to the work on set by everyone involved. Goreman is played by Matthew Ninaber, and his performance is really the one that hinges the whole film. If Goreman was a lesser performance, the whole film would suffer because of it.
The fight scenes all look like beefed up versions of ones from the Power Rangers series, and that’s not an insult. They’re fun, inventive, and the creatures all are well done. When Goreman takes them down one by one, you’ll be cheering along.
The “worst” effect in the film is definitely when Luke and Mimi’s friend Alastair is turned into a giant brain. I think this one was done purposefully though, and it leads to more laughs than groans. The ending fight scene between Goreman and Pandora is the highlight of the film and it’s where the practical effects really shine.
Some Of The Misses Of Psycho Goreman
Psycho Goreman does a lot right for a horror/comedy. Where it slips up sometimes is in the relationship between the kids and their parents. The mom in the film, Susan, played by Alexis Kara Hancey varies from traditional mother portrayal to sort of crazed, angry mother on a dime. It’s jarring at some points in the film, and a more even keeled performance would have done the role some good.
The kid’s father, Greg, played by Adam Brooks is where most of the comedy comes from. He’s bumbling, lazy (but don’t call him lazy), and kind of a bad father, but he shines through at the right moments for the kids and PG. Being where most of the comedy comes from, his role also means that some of the misses fall on him as well. In particular, there’s one section at the end where he’s giving Mimi a heartfelt story about how he got into a stranger’s van to look at baseball cards when he was young. The joke doesn’t land, and it particularly sticks out.
Overall, It’s Worth Watching For Horror Fans
If your kids aren’t too bothered by pretty cartoonish violence, Psycho Goreman is one of those “gateway” horror films. The comedy hits for both kids and adults. There’s no nudity, no cursing (besides variants of frick, eff, and others like that), and the violence is all between monsters or cartoonishly over the top. You might want to check with your kids before, but I would definitely use this film as a way to get kids into horror. It’s full of heart in that Goonies or The Monster Squad way.
Psycho Goreman might not change the paradigm of horror/comedy, but it is a strong film. It uses effects to it’s advantage and doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. The film is in theaters, on demand, and digital on January 22nd and is coming to Shudder later this year.
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