Stoker Hills or Streetwalkers is a 2020 horror mystery thriller movie directed by Benjamin Louis and starring Steffani Brass, David Gridley, Vince Hill-Bedford, and William Lee Scott, alongside other cast members.
– Stoker Hills review does not contain spoilers –
Stoker Hills starts with audio glitching which made me jump. It’s an annoying thing because weird jumpscares at the beginning of the movie is always a downside. Then we get the other downside: Jake and Ryan, our protagonists, are the most annoying people on the planet. They are obnoxious as heck and Jake, especially, constantly says crap that doesn’t make sense.
Stoker Hills is kinda like Paranormal Activity and gives us a reason why the guys constantly film in the movie. There is so much shaky camera movement that it’s annoying and a bit nauseating. Plus, there’s also so many shots of Ryan and Jake talking absolute stupid stuff. That is until Erika gets abducted. It comes out of absolute nowhere and that is when we start with the actual thriller aspect of it.
For everyone who doesn’t like shaky camera movements, I’d advise you to not go through with this. The camera work is splotchy, something expected from two college kids with a camera, in peril. The next part of the movie features the authorities watching the found footage and we jump from their perspective to the actual footage and then them trying to find the abducted kids.
However, the “novice” camerawork is what adds to the insanity of the movie. When the two come across the masked killer, you feel their fear through how much the footage shakes. Obviously, though, the kids’ stupid decision to go against a maniac without help or any idea is shockingly stupid. Also, they speak too loudly considering they are being chased by a killer.
The movie also gives Green Room and Hostel vibes at some points. Green Room is, obviously, a much better movie and I remember being absolutely freaked out watching it. Stoker Hill had similar feels, but couldn’t really match that movie.
Stoker Hills is very bloody. Thus, for people who get squeamish easily or are not comfortable with violence, it’d be a good idea to skip. However, the gratuitous amount of body horror and the blood and gore does push us to really be invested and be scared for the missing students.
However, the major downtimes are when we watch the detectives talking about the most mundane things in the middle of a serial killer investigation. I mean, I don’t really care who Detective Adams wanted to marry, it doesn’t matter. These are moments when the mood and the thrill aspect go down the drain. Stoker Hills’s pacing takes a hit and the long moments of exposition, too, really took me out of the experience.
Additionally, the background score is a bit much sometimes and negatively impacts the thrill. I found it to be a bit too loud and it would’ve been better had some scenes been quiet instead of playing “thriller” music in the back.
Performances throughout are fine in Stoker Hills. There are a lot of thrilling moments and the action is mostly fine. The actors portray the confusion and anguish of the scene unfolding in front of them.
That being said, wait for the twist (that you might be able to figure out from miles away) that’s going to make you super angry but is also weirdly good.
Summing up: Stoker Hills
Stoker Hills starts off strong but as the film progresses further, it starts to fizzle out a bit, especially due to unnecessary dialogue between characters that don’t add anything to the story. However, it’s a good watch if you’re in the mood for something uncomplicated.
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