A gritty and grimy horror movie, Carl is a ‘hillbilly’ horror that takes inspiration from the likes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre but fails to live up to those standards.
Carl (Matthew Cornwell) is a hulking beast of man who enjoys nothing more then capturing women and using them as his slave. He’s just looking for the perfect woman it seems and luckily for him, she comes along at just the right time!
Lisa (Cheri Christian) and Mike Ingram (Robert Pralgo) arrive in the small-town Carl calls home for a romantic weekend. They stay at a bed and breakfast where the owner makes Carl and his demented family aware of the duo. Carl takes a real shine to Lisa but the couple leave early thwarting his plans.
Happily, for Carl at least, he is given their address and he trots off to kidnap Lisa. The remainder of the film sees Carl trying to force Lisa to love him while Mike desperately tries to find out where she disappeared too.
Low-budget, far too long and with a few scenes that just seem designed to shock and serve little purpose for the narrative being told. The style of shooting is very reminiscent of Texas Chainsaw with very little colour and a dirty shine to everything. It’s grim and helps hide the budgetary issues well enough.
Early on it’s pretty clear that Carl is a mamma’s boy and that his mask (a dirty tablecloth) is when his murderous side comes out. The problem is that he never really comes across threatening. The actor isn’t bad, he just doesn’t have much presence. A bit of an issue when your movie is named after the character.
The rest of the cast are fine, nothing of note and nothing that will offend. These roles have been done time and time again in horror and the lack of deep characters for the husband and wife team makes for an uninteresting finale. The film drags towards this ending and once we reach it, fails to satisfy leaving many questions unanswered.
Simply put, there is nothing special about Carl at all. Just another run of the mill hillbilly horror that bores far more then it excites.
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The Final Score - 4.5/10