Scott (Matt Mercer) has the perfect snack for the 6th Annual Freddy vs. Jason Fest he’s celebrating with some close friends, his girlfriend’s famous cookies. As the night draws to its end and the last conscious members of the group slog their way through the doldrums of those early 00s entries, he comes to a disturbing realization—Dave (C.B. Mullen), who’s deathly allergic to nuts, has been unwittingly enjoying his nut-laden cookies all night. In Zachary Eglinton’s Allergic Overreaction, we watch helplessly as a man slowly succumbs to the psychotic rage of his peanut allergy, leaving a trail of blood in his wake.
Allergic Overreaction is a comedy at its core and it’s pretty successful at that. The sense of desperation as they realize the severity of what they’ve done comes through with sharp comedic timing from the entire cast. Once things fully come off the rails, repulsive practical body horror is tempered by slapstick comedy as Dave, completely blinded by inflammation, stumbles into multiple inadvertent murders. The work put into Dave’s progressively deteriorating makeup pays off, especially towards the end when the mass of puss and bruising that was once a face becomes hard to look at for too long. We even get some homage to the golden age of slashers as Scott evades the knife-wielding Dave over a pulsing synth score that would make John Carpenter proud.
There isn’t anything particularly scary about Allergic Overreaction with its effects used more to disgust than to horrify but it makes for a fun gross-out comedy that is well-paced enough to keep its revulsion and absurdity from becoming tiresome. There’s nothing here that stands out enough to leave too much of a lasting impression and it might be a little on the tame side for fans of body horror but it feels like it comes from a place of deep appreciation for the genre.
7 out of 10