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HMS takes a look at the
faux-snuff short - Holly

There are all kinds of horror films. Given the variety of styles and subjects, it's easy to be partial to one type or the other. Even if you love every bit of the genre, horror fans usually get extra-excited and interested in various subjects. Some people are especially into paranormal subjects; movies dealing with hauntings, possessions and the paranormal. Others prefer animalistic “monster” movies with terrifyingly designed beasts ripping apart some sort of community. I love all of that so much but if I had to pick one thing I'm partial to is what I like to call “brutal reality horror.” This is a more grounded type of experience, one that focuses more on realism-based content. Human are, after all, horrible in a lot of ways and often we don't need supernatural monsters to do our work for us.

One type of film that is gaining traction in the horror world is the “Faux Snuff film.” I'm a big fan of the sub-genre and have seen as much out there as I can find. I've seen wonderful installments such as the August Underground trilogy and Korea's first-person torture fest The Butcher. I've also seen the idea turned into absolute boring annoyance such as the disaster that was The Coheeset Snuff Film. Luckily, I've seen more good than bad and that brings me to Holly.

Fans of the horror underground and extreme cinema will know Abortion Bins Productions who have been putting out wonderfully despicable works out into the world for a while now. I had previously reviewed their fantastic film TapeWorm and had been anxious to check out more work. Luckily I was fortunate to have Abortion Bins Productions member/Holly director Jason Toth send me a copy of his latest snuff short. I had been a fan of Abortion Bin Productions and Toxic Filth Video by this point and seeing all these elements come together was a wonderful thing.

Directed by Jason Toth and produced by Tito Johnson, Holly is a simple story. Two girlfriends and a male cameraman have abducted and confined a woman for the primary purpose of having some fun. What follows is over twenty minutes of Holly, the victim, being tormented, abused, violated and murdered. Holly essentially strips the faux snuff genre down to its rawest form and shows what most come to see.

If done badly, this kind of film can be embarrassingly awkward (I'm looking at you Coheeset Snuff Film, I haven't forgotten!). Acting chops is so important in a brutal reality type film in order for it to work. Don't get me wrong, I love cheesy, campy B-movies, but this doesn't usually mesh with faux-snuff. The whole point is to come as close to appearing to be actual murder footage as possible. Something you may come across online while trying to satisfy morbid curiosity; something that may wind up as footage in a murder trial but won't make it onto the news. Holly succeeds with this as the action is all spot-on. The mean spirited nature of the hostile characters comes across as completely genuine and never once seems like a bunch of people trying to sound scary and intimidating. This is so important and I'm happy to see Holly nail it down so well.


“This is a more grounded type of experience, one that focuses more on realism-based content.”

The character of Holly comes across as truly helpless and even without too much backstory or knowledge of her normal personality, she comes across very sympathetic. I don't just mean given all the awful things happening to her, the performance plays an essential role in the emotional response and the character/film does well in that regard. The camerawork comes across as legit “found footage” and nothing comes across fake or hokey.

As before, I'm looking forward to more from Abortion Bin Productions and Toxic Filth Video and can't wait to see what more is to be produced. If Holly is an indication as to where the respective companies are going, I'm all in. Holly can be found through King of the Witches but their releases get picked up fast so I'd say get on it when you can.

Abortion Bin Productions on Facebook
Toxic Filth Video closed group
King of the Witches

P.J. Griffin, HMS

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