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Review: FURRY NIGHTS (2016)

Furries, grown men and women who dress up as animals for recreational purposes. A strange but harmless activity, most people would say. However, in J. Zachary Thurman’s Furry Nights, they’re anything but harmless. Indeed, these are downright feral.

A group of annoying college students head out into the woods to make their own horror film. They notice a group of furries across the lake from them, but don’t think much of it. However, a mishap during the night results in one of them being mistaken for a real bear and shot. The rest of his pack wants revenge, bloody revenge.

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So basically a bunch of kids in the woods stalked by a bunch of psychos. Apart from the furry angle, it’s far from an original idea. We’ve had killers in animal costumes before, of course, but never a group of them, at least not that I can recall. They also stay in character, which pushes the creepy meter up quite a bit. They talk in distorted voices and animal sounds that match their characters. The rabbit always hops. The kangaroo gets genuinely upset when someone takes the stuffed baby ‘roo from her pouch. Done wrong, it could have been silly, but it’s actually quite unnerving and disturbing.

The other thing that sets Furry Nights is the cinematography. Part of the film is seen through the kid’s camera, found footage style. That’s fairly generic, but thankfully not overly shaky most of the time. The rest of the film shot normally has some great images that make use of the dark woods. A few looks obviously staged and cinematic, but they work in the film’s framework.

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As well as all the behind-the-scenes roles he plays, Thurman also plays Jack, who has the most memorable role among the kids. Apart from Jack, they’re all pretty generic, though Maddison Stroud stands out somewhat as Maddie.

Shot in 2016 Furry Nights has been picked up by Terror Films and released as part of their pre-Halloween festivities. It’s a fun, if lightweight, watch.

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