At times I come across a movie that gives me hope that the Horror genre is finally taking a turn from copycat films and remakes. Unfortunately, Rob Zombie’s 31 (2016) is not one of those movies. I’m not, by any means, bashing 31 as it has so many fun and bizarre moments that kept me glued to the screen. I’m just pointing out that it had bits of everything in it.

There’s something about Rob Zombie films that I don’t get from other horror movies. I love the twisted scenarios that he incorporates, and the tracks he uses for the musical accompaniment; it’s not like he couldn’t go the route of John Carpenter and be solely responsible for the score.

31 is filled with all the attributes that I crave when I watch a horror movie. Oh, did I mention, Rob used bits of the Wolfman Jack Show that brought back fond childhood memories. This movie is filled with some of the most memorable quotes I’ve heard in quite a while, but I’m not going to share them, I want you to see this movie.

I love Sherri Moon Zombie. She has the essence of Jamie Lee Curtis in the original Halloween. Her facial expressions are amazing. I wish she would scream more. I enjoy the strong female lead in horror movies, but come on, give me some screams that vibrate my eardrums.

Welcome to 31. You have exactly twelve hours to play.

It’s not as though the theme isn’t anything you haven’t seen; it’s the typical exploitation, survival horror film. But for me, it was beyond that. For example, the interactions between the antagonists and the protagonists, they are unnerving and perverted and chilling; things that would be lost in translation if I told you more, so that’s all I’m saying about that.

The game hosts, I guess you could call them, Sister Dragon, Sister Serpent, and Father Napoleon-Horatio-Silas Murder remind me of the characters in the music videos Rock Me Amadeus and Vienna Calling by Falco. They make wagers on each contestant and announce time left throughout the twelve hours the game is played.

The killer clowns stalk the maze with the single quest of killing the contestants. The clowns all have ‘Head’ in their name. Sick-Head who has some strange Nazi connection that I couldn’t quite figure out. Psycho-Head and Schizo-Head work as a team with chainsaws. The final two were Death-Head and Sex-Head (we meet her earlier but not in this form.) As I watched this, I couldn’t help thinking about Captain Spaulding and the possibility that this is where he originated. I was going to mention the ending, but I’ve decided to leave it be, I’ve already said enough about the details.

Now, the moment of truth, what do I give Rob Zombie’s 31? After some consideration, I give it 4 out of 5 Stars.

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