karamashi’s review published on Letterboxd:
God knows what possessed me to want to go back and watch this. I guess Shudder just acquired the streaming rights. Not to long ago they nabbed the exclusive streaming rights to 31.
The first thirty minutes of this is actually solid--as pastiche Captain Spaulding/the murder museum, use of split screen, and lighting scheme is pleasant as a throw back to trash horror classics. Clearly, Zombie's influences are fully on display with the use of shakey home footage(cribbing Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), acid wash dissolves(even a short Begotten dream sequence, and of course, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II.
Tonally, the film never finds a groove like The Devils Rejects. It's never actually scary or outright funny. And it certainly isn't a mixture of the two. There is no central character that we can latch onto to and feel something for. The four main victims aren't devolved past geeks and their blasé girlfriends. It's obvious why Zombie would hone in on the Firefly clan in the sequel and here he squanders much interest in them. They are all cartoonish sketches and aren't as fully fleshed out.
Then the procedural cop sub-plot kicks in and the entire film slops to a yawning finish. It even stops being stylish and is just cheap, ugly, and boring.
I enjoyed Rejects and Lords of Salem. Halloween was trashy and awful. And of course, 31 was just awful. Hopefully Rob can find his footing and maybe let someone write a decent horror script for him.