Killjoy Goes to Hell

Director: John Lechago (2012)
Starring: Trent Haaga, Victoria De Mare, Al Burke
Find it: IMDB

Freddy died, Leprechaun river danced himself to da hood (and space), Jason went to Hell; vengeance demon Killjoy follows in the latter's footsteps and heads off to Hell - being on trial there for letting a victim (the previous film's Jessica Whitaker) get away. Well, they couldn't send him off to da hood, since that's where he started out.

As the strongest elements of the first three (!) Killjoy movies were the makeup and nightmare sequences, it makes sense that Killjoy Goes to Hell should make those things its focus. And so a large part of the movie is actually set in Hell (which not even Jason Voorhees could muster), with a bounty of demons like Killjoy and his f(r)iends. Say what you will about the franchise, but it's a bold move to make your fourth entry in the series a courtroom drama, complete with all of the trappings. Not even A Nightmare on Elm Street went there, and Freddy Krueger: Child Murderer on Trial would have made a fantastic prequel to the series.

While the budget doesn't exactly stretch to Dante's Inferno, some adorably cheap CGI and wobbly, fluorescent sets do the job well enough. Even better, Punchy, Freakshow and Batty Boo all return too. This is punctuated with scenes set in the institution where Sandie (Whitaker) is under investigation for Killjoy's crimes. Here we find employed psychiatrists and professional police officers treating her story like a thing that could actually happen and not being fired instantly. It's just a shame that, in a role that doesn't require her to do much more than laugh, the filmmakers couldn't have found an actress capable of laughing even half-convincingly.

The upward trajectory continues. The makeup and special effects are good, Punchy the Hobo Clown gets plenty of screen time (his carny speak is particularly great) and there's a little character work going on in Killjoy and Batty's interactions. Even Haaga is less annoying than usual here, finally settling into the role. If Killjoy 3 was tolerable, his going to Hell is actually, genuinely... well, not good exactly, but it's definitely something. A slasher movie cum courtroom drama set in Hell, it's certainly original, I'll give it that.

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