Dante Tomaselli's HORROR HORROR (2002) Written and Directed by Dante Tomaselli Starring: The Amazing Kreskin as Reverend Salo, Sr. Lizzy Mahon as Grace Salo Danny Lopes as Luck Vincent Lamberti as Reverend Salo, Jr. Christie Sanford as Mrs. Salo Jessica Pagan as Marisa Raine Brown as Amanda Kevin Kenney as Kevin Chris Farabaugh as Fred And featuring Felissa Rose as the Art Therapist Color/77 minutes/Rated R I went into Dante Tomaselli's sophmore effort, HORROR, with a bias. I expected to be disappointed. Dante's first effort, DESECRATION, was horrible in nearly every major area: writing, acting, direction, and production. I had a difficult time finishing DESECRATION....and I expected to have the same experience with HORROR. All the signs pointed to more of the same for HORROR: another shoestring budget, a majority of the acting ensemble from DESECRATION back in the fray, and Dante's press clippings promising yet another "disjointed, nightmarish film with an ambiguous plotline". Oh boy.... HORROR is basically two converging plotlines. One storyline involves five teen inmates escaping from a drug rehab center and embarking on a journey to meet up with the mysterious Reverend Salo, Jr. in hopes of "salvation". The pack of inmates is led by Luck, who, along with a few of the others, prepares for the journey to the reverend's home by indulging in several hallucinogens from a "gift" bag of drugs supplied by the reverend the day before their escape. The other storyline revolves around the Reverend Salo, Jr's daughter Grace (can these character names get any more symbolic?), and the systematic drug addiction forced onto her by the Reverend Salo, Jr. and his creepy, subservient wife. Grace's only help comes from talks with her late grandfather, Reverend Salo, Sr., who may, or may not be communicating to her from the grave. HORROR really gets started when the van of inmates arrives at Reverend Salo, Jr.'s home and all Hell breaks loose....literally. What is the reverend's real motives? Will Grace be saved? What role does Grace's grandfather play in her family's past? What is real and what is a hallucination? And then there's that mysterious, ominous black goat.............. To say that HORROR is ambiguous is an understatement. Like DESECRATION, HORROR is open to interpretation (and lots of it). As promised, HORROR ends up being, for the most part, a disjointed series of images and scenarios lifted from other horror films (EVIL DEAD, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, SLEEPAWAY CAMP...among others). In a film that ultimately relies on style to carry the viewer through, HORROR succeeds where DESECRATION failed, by being just a bit more polished in its set-up and delivery. While some of the set pieces were lacking and derivative (the zombies were just too Romero-ish and made me think of the better original source), there were quite a few images that came across very well......including a sequence with Luck's girlfriend in a creepy attic (nice use of shadows!)......and a great flashback scene showing Reverend Salo, Sr. using his power of suggestion to "cripple" a non-believing audience member. Another pleasant surprise with HORROR was with the improved acting from all involved. Danny Lopes (Luck), who made me cringe at times with his delivery in DESECRATION, came across very well here and brought a great charisma to his character. Lizzy Mahon (Grace) made her character very sympathetic and believable. And The Amazing Kreskin (Reverend Salo, Sr.) was very impressive...he was quiet and understated in his scenes with Lizzy, and he just ate up the scenery in those "power of suggestion" scenes! Oh, and the always lovely Felissa Rose has a nice little turn as an Art Therapist......although if you sneeze and blink, you may miss her...... If you enjoyed DESECRATION, then you will probably love HORROR...it's basically the same approach, but with a more polished end result. For those unfamiliar with Dante's style, if you can forgive the low budget roots and Tomaselli's habit of lifting from other classic horror sources, then you will be rewarded with a nice, stylized visual journey that's more hit than miss. HORROR is definitely a sign of an improving storyteller......and it deserves at least one viewing from genre fans.