Obstacle Corpse – Film Review


Obstacle Corpse is a triumph of indie horror, sidesplittingly funny, innovative, violent and filled with more kills than you can shake a starter pistol at; it will confirm your deepest fear that exercise is inherently wrong for you!

When it comes to horror movies, I have always said that the true beating heart of the genre belongs to the indie filmmakers. Since the dawn of time, some of the most satisfying and innovative horror movies have come not from the big studios, who are beholden to accountants and studio pressure; the true gems come from the gonzo, truly independent horror directors and writers who are doing this for the love of the genre.  

And who better to create a low-budget horror movie than one of the genre’s finest horror critics, Hope Madden? Knowing the genre inside out should give you an advantage in creating a film that works. Hope’s stellar career as a horror movie reviewer has undoubtedly given the inside track into what makes for a fun, inventive and delightful horror movie.  

Obstacle Corpse

Obstacle Corpse is a simple film that takes some of its cues from such classic horror movies as The Purge and  The Deadliest Game.  Taking a simple premise, where you can invite a friend, family member or work colleague to take part in an obstacle course where winning is the least of your worries, Hope grips this premise with both hands and runs with it with pure, unabandon gleeful fun that smashes through the limitations of it micro-budget, and a cast of relatively unknowns.  

The plot of Obstacle Corpse is simple. You can invite someone to participate in this fun obstacle course, where crossing the finishing line is more a matter of life and death than completing the course. The course is littered with psycho killers who are determined to kill you in all manners of grizzly and inventive ways. 

Right from the opening scene, you know you are in for a fun time with Obstacle Corpse, as it lays out exactly what to expect from the film; so if you are a fan of comedic horror with inventive kills, some wonderfully over-the-top acting, and with the director and all involved, clearly having the time of their life while making this horror movie, then this is the film for you.  

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Don’t get me wrong; there are times when the limitations of the budget are apparent. However, you will be so invested in both the characters and the plot that these limitations add to the experience of watching this fantastic little horror movie.  

Acting-wise, the cast handles themselves admirably, with stand-out performances from Sylvie Mix and Alan Tyson, whose relationship in the film is one of the movie’s many highlights. I particularly loved the dual character progression they shared throughout the film, as it added an excellent depth of character development that is, at times, sadly lacking in these sorts of films.

However, the most outstanding performance of the film has to go to Donovan Riley Wolfington as the batsh!t crazy killer chef. Donovan eats up every second of his screen time with a gloriously over the top performance; you have to wonder if the director gave him a performance note of “go for it, if you think you’re too crazy, step it up Again, and then do it again.” There is always a danger of performances like Donovan’s becoming too over the top to the point where it looks like they are mugging the screen, but Donovan never crosses that line, and you will love every second that he is on the screen.  

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Unusually for such a full on horror comedy, such as  Obstacle Corpse, Madden, who wrote and directed the film, has managed to seamlessly inject some thoughtful commentary on toxic family relationships and the combative / survival instincts of the average person in the street. It would have been so to have a classic hero in the movie, who is an expert in survival and fighting, but by keeping the contestants as normal Joes, albeit with their own weird set of quirks, it allows Madden to explore just how far we will go to survive.  

Obstacle Corpse is the first full-length feature from Hope Madden, and based on the amount of fun I had watching Obstacle Corpse, I cannot wait to see what Hope comes up with next, as this is one of those rare breeds of micro-budget horror movies that exceed every expectation that will have going into it. 

Obstacle Corpse is a triumph of indie horror, sidesplittingly funny, innovative, violent and filled with more kills than you can shake a starter pistol at; it will confirm your deepest fear that exercise is inherently wrong for you!

Stream Obstacle Corpse here

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