The reason I'm reviewing these two films together is because they go together. Carthage is a short film that was later turned into the feature length film The Stitcher, both of wich are from Next Money Horror Films.
When Ted and Stacy travel to the town of Carthage to find out if there is any truth to the legend of a bloody murderer known as Mr. Buttons, they soon discover that small towns have their own way of keeping secrets.
Carthage is an entertaining low budget short film that has a unique and interesting story to tell. It was based on a true story of a serial killer from the 1800's who would keep the buttons of his victims as trophies. But the story in the film isn't that simple. The killer in this film likes to sew the buttons to himself due to events from his insane childhood (I don't wanna give the whole story away). I will say that the short is well made and does a great job of capturing a believable horror atmosphere in such a short time. The only thing I didn't like was the look of the killer in the short, it was a bit cheap looking but It's super low budget so I understand. This takes use to the feature length film that would come out of this short....
Something strange is happening in this eerie backwoods town. Inspired by true events, a group of friends must survive the weekend in order to escape the terror that is beyond their imagination. This blood curdling story is a shock a minute horror rush.... You’ve been warned!
This film left me a bit more mixed than the short did. The first half of the film was more comical that scary. It was full of weed and alcohol humor, which in some films works, but I felt this film would have been better off without it. It took away from the atmosphere of the film. The first half had a few scatter murders throughout it, but I felt it took a bit too long to get into the real action of the film. The second half of the film though was great! The acting is definitely better the second half, the action picks up immensely, and the small twists in the film were exciting and fun for a horror fan to watch. Plus, the killer gets a killer face lift from the short film (he looks friggin cool!) The gore was effective and some of it was really good for such a low budget film. The bonus features on the dvd are pretty cool too. The behind the scenes feature shows how the whole film was made with pretty much two women as the whole crew (how they did it boggles my mind, I would have gone nuts!) and includes some great music videos (this film has amazing music by indie band Radio Radio, my new musical obsession thanks to this film). Overall, I liked it but I wished the action picked up sooner. I think it's worth a look and makes me want to see what else Next Monkey Horror has to offer!