In Get Gone, from director Michael Thomas Daniel, a family of murderous hillbillies defend their property from a construction company contracted to drill on their land and a group of investigative filmmakers determined to debunk the various disappearances attributed to them over the years. The result isn’t soaring in its aspirations, with a premise that would be right at home in a Wrong Turn or The Hills Have Eyes sequel but those films have their audience and I’m not opposed to a campy gorefest if handled well so I went in hopeful. We open on an artsy tracking shot moving through a hazy corridor which suggests we’re not wasting any time getting to the good stuff as we cut to a panicked woman hiding behind a door. Alas, it was a ruse as Abbey (Emily Shenaut) gets up to join her friends as they discuss their next film–an investigation into an area rumored to be inhabited by murderous psychopaths. We then jumped to said psychopaths as the matriarch, known only as Mama (Lin Shaye), is talking to park ranger Rico (Rico E. Anderson), about the contractors eyeing her property. Despite her protests, they have building protests and they have to “get gone” a shameless title drop the film will proceed to do on at least 3 other occasions.
All of this goes about as well as you’d expect, the construction workers and filmmakers step onto their property and everyone dies until we end up with a final girl. You know how this works by now. Fortunately, we don’t have to spend much time with our team of intrepid investigators as they’re all different shades of better-forgotten early 00s teen slasher archetypes played with all the subtlety and zoomer lingo you’d expect from a community theater production directed by the Zucker Brothers. On the side of the, let’s call them countryfolk, we have Lin Shaye as Mama who I imagine they hired mostly so they could put a recognizable face on the cover art but who comes through with an entertaining performance that pulls from the Tim Curry school of thought that the best way to salvage a doomed project is to go as camp as possible. She doesn’t manage to accomplish that in her 10 odd minutes of screentime but her efforts are noted and appreciated. Joining her are her sickly husband Don (Robert Miano) and two kids Apple (Bailey Coppola) and Patton (Weston Cage Coppola) who do most of the dirty work. Don is one of the more grounded characters and Apple might as well be Leatherface down to his penchant for crafting masks. Coppola has his moments as the submissive mama’s boy Paxton, who occasionally goes into rage mode, adopting a wide-eyed glare and the unabashed energy of a late 80s professional wrestler cutting a promo.
Visually, there’s a lot that works here, with some of those strong artistic choices made in the intro continuing throughout. The gore is another area of disappointment as most of the kills are quick and bloodless if they occur on screen at all. The crazy redneck genre has taken many forms, from the chilling hopelessness and isolation of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to the glorious camp of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. The influence of those films is on display here but a safe and non-committal tone and amateurish execution make for a bland entry into an already bloated genre that cannot be redeemed by a few entertaining performances.
3 out of 10