Insane Like Me? Poster

Insane Like Me? (2024) Review

Despite its title, Insane Like Me? is not about the qualifications for running a website like this. It’s the story of Jake Morgan, played by Britt Bankhead (Call of the Wild) who also co-wrote the script with Chip Joslin. He’s a combat vet, recently returned to the US. He and his girlfriend Samantha (Grace Patterson, Moonshine Meat Market Mayhem, Slotherhouse) are about to join her brother Will (Paul Kolker, Causeway, Groundswell) and his girlfriend Erica (Marie Wetherell, Incubated, Ghost Party) on a Halloween exploration of an allegedly haunted hotel.

Actually it’s a surprise party for Jake, that soon turns into a slaughter as vampires attack, killing the partygoers and Samantha goes missing in the confusion. Jake survives, which does not sit well with Samantha’s father, Sheriff Davis (Eric Roberts, Fyre Rises, Snow White and the Seven Samurai).

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He didn’t like Jake to begin with, and lets it slip that Jake was supposed to have been the one who was taken, not Samantha. How he feels about his the other victims isn’t mentioned. After beating the shit out of him, he has him placed in an asylum, though not the one Roberts keeps making movies for. There he endures nine years of beatings from the guards and visions of Samantha accusing him of cowardice for not saving her before he’s released. But once he is released, the vampires won’t be the only ones out for blood.

While the attack is well staged, Insane Like Me?’s first act left with questions, why doesn’t the sheriff just kill him instead of covertly sending him to a mental hospital? He has Deputy Adams (Jason P. Kendall, Cherokee Creek, Neon Days) turn off the cameras while he’s beating him, why not just say he attacked them and was shot in the scuffle? And why after all that is he allowed to go free?

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In any case, once he’s out he devotes himself to studying vampires, which he takes a hands on approach to. Then he sets out to avenge Samantha, a quest which, much to his dismay, ends up involving her younger sister Crystal (Samantha Reddy, Holiday in the Hamptons, Soulmates) and her friends. They tend to be the typical annoying teens we see in films like this, but if nothing else, they bump up the number of potential victims.

If you can get past the messy writing, major plot holes and Crystal’s annoying friends, Insane Like Me? has some nicely staged vampire attacks, and decent practical effects by Anne Martinez. Unfortunately, a couple of them lose some of their bite due to CGI blood splatter that’s bad even by low budget standards. Credit cinematographer François Frizat (Boggy Creek, Humans vs Zombies) with shooting the attacks for maximum effect and trying to make the most of the hotel where much of Insane Like Me? takes place.

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It all ends up with a final act that features a reasonably high body count, an H.H. Holmes reference and a last minute twist I wasn’t expecting. We also get Jack Maxwell (Shoot It, Born to Ride) chewing major amounts of scenery as the head vampire.

Overall, Insane Like Me? Ends up being a very uneven film with some serious problems, mostly in the plotting. There are major events that don’t make any sense, twists that Stevie Wonder could see a mile away, and a lame cliché for the final shot. It really needed another rewrite, if only to sort out the issues In the first act. On the other hand, if you can ignore that, the film isn’t boring, Bankhead makes a solid hard-boiled hero and Reddy is a spunky heroine. As an added bonus, Eric Roberts is actually a part of the film, interacting with the rest of the cast in several scenes.

While it’s hard for me to give it a full recommendation, I didn’t hate it. If you’re feeling lucky, or at least undemanding, you could do worse than give it a chance. DeskPop Entertainment will release Insane Like Me? to VOD and Digital Platforms on June 4th.

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