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Review: I SCREAM ON THE BEACH! Horror-On-Sea 2020

I Scream On The Beach! is the first feature from Alexander Churchyard and Michael Holiday. Like many films, it sets itself up as a vintage VHS era horror film. However, I got an idea that this one might be a bit different early on. Of the three trailers presented at the start, only one is a fake. The other two are real films, Dead Celebrities and The Mask Of Thorn. It’s a nice touch and a nod to their fellow indie filmmakers.

Emily Tresscott (Hannah Paterson) and her mother (Tess Gustard) were deserted by her father when she was a young girl. She doesn’t believe it. She saw him murdered by a man wearing a gas mask and his body wash out to sea. But nobody believes her, and she gets ridiculed by her boss Paula (Dani Thompson, Cute Little Buggers, Pumpkins) about it.

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However, as a wave of killings strikes the town of Mellow Coast, she’s certain there’s a connection. What does Sister Abigail (Andrea Sandell, Acid Pit Stop, Patient Zero) really know? And what connects Dr. Lloyd (Lloyd Kaufman, The Litch, One Must Fall) to all of this?

With its simulated wear and tear and occasional audio dropout, I Scream On The Beach! looks quite like something I would have rented from a corner video store back in the day. It almost feels like what might have resulted from Norman J. Warren (Satan’s Slave, Insemnoid) getting to do one more film after Bloody New Year. And I mean that in a very positive way.

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There are some nice touches such as the mention of bootleg copies of banned “video nasties” to help cement the period detail. Some of that is offset by cast members who are a bit to inked/pierced for the time, but I Scream On The Beach! Manages to stay convincing for the most part.

I Scream On the Beach! never forgets to stay entertaining as a film first and be a homage second. Too many films get caught up in the retro aspect and forget to deliver an actual storyline. That’s not an issue here, as the plot is interesting and builds to a delightfully warped final act. One can even forgive it ending on a note so many low budget films before it have ended on. If there is a sequel, it needs to pick up right where this ends.

I Scream On The Beach! made its debut at this year’s Horror-On-Sea Festival. You can check the film’s Facebook page for upcoming showings.

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