October Moon was Tempe Video’s best selling DVD in 2006 so it’s only fitting that they would distribute the sequel November Son, which was released earlier this year. Director Jason Paul Collum is obviously a huge fan of scream queens (his documentary Something To Scream About is fantastic), and with a cast including Judith O’ Dea, Brinke Stevens, and Debbie Rochon November Son there once again has no shortage of the lovely ladies of horror.
For starters, I must admit that I have not seen the first October Moon, so a plot summary for the sequel November Son might be slightly difficult. But I’m not one to skimp on a challenge, so here goes. November Son is the story of a man named Eli (Sasha Sacket) who moves into an apartment that was home to a love triangle in the first movie. After quickly making friends with his new landlord Maggie, Eli gets a photography job with Mrs. Hamilton (the lovely Judith O’ Dea). Mrs. Hamilton is still grieving the death of her son Elliot from October Moon, and Eli tends to remind her of him. After finally getting settled, Eli gets a visit from his father George, who Maggie sets up with Nancy (Brinke Stevens).George seems like a nice guy, but doesn’t seem to show Nancy the affection she so desires. If that wasn’t enough, Elliot’s ex-fiance Marti returns to town after being accused of his murder in October Moon, and Eli’s estranged mom (Debbie Rochon) also shows up to make things more convoluted. Eventually everything has to come to a head when secrets begin to come out of the woodwork and people begin to disappear.
I know, it doesn’t sound like a gore drenched typical night at the bloodsprayer, and it’s not. What November Son is is a story driven psychological thriller, and a good one at that. All of the main characters have ample time to make you care about them, and that makes the payoff at the end deliver a bigger punch. I couldn’t help but care what was going to happen to everyone as we get to the finale. The movie has a good sense of humor and does throw in a couple good creepy dream sequences. Judith O’ Dea was phenominal, I cannot praise her enough!
On the downside, as good as the story was it did start to drag after awhile. I don’t want to bash the pacing of the movie, because most of the dialog heavy moments were necessary to give the chacters depth, but a little more action would’ve been nice. Also the movie had a couple of head scratching moments. I still cannot figure out why Nancy would have anything to do with George based on the characters personalities and beliefs.
On a side note, I purposely left out the fact that the love triangle from the first movie was between three guys, and that the film is quite heavy with gay themes and prejudices. The reason I felt to hold out on that until the end was because that should carry no weight on whether the film is well made or enjoyable in the least. The liner notes for the dvd mention an advance screening at a convention where a majority of the crowd left during the screening. Granted that was a different cut of the film than the final product, and I’m not here to preach to anyone but it’s sad that in 2011 that still has to be such a big factor on whether someone likes a movie or not.
While not exactly the movie for most horrorhounds, for fans of psychothrillers or the first movie, November Son is a fun movie. I’m not going to say that you have to watch the first movie, but I think it would’ve helped. I have already placed my order for the first October Moon so I can sit down and fill in some of the blanks that I still have.