The Meadows is a low-budget indie thriller with emphasis on low. Lack of funds means there are certain elements that I will not hold against independent films. These include a lack of professional film equipment, experienced production crew, elaborate set design, crystal-clear sound engineering, quality of actors (even actual porn actors), and the number of days in production. You make a film with what you have, and Luke Allen did just that.
It’s clear, Allen loves making movies, and I would not want to be that critic that “sinks your production, like the Titanic.” What’s frustrating about The Meadows are the elements that the filmmaker does have control over, which is the story, character development, and dialogue. The film is billed as an erotic horror thriller. I wish Allen leaned more into one of those genres. The film starts with a soft-core sex scene, but the remaining encounters throughout the film are far too tame to be considered erotic.
“…far too tame…”
The horror is also fairly diluted, as most of the film’s gore comes from cheap blood effects. Making the deaths more gruesome or campy would have helped the horror elements and elevated the final product.
There are no real thrills either. The clunky dialogue and its delivery ensure that excitement is non-existent. The dialogue is very melodramatic and contains unnecessary big words. Actors don’t speak like people in the real world. The film’s characters are just so misguided in attaining their goals that several murders are only a speed bump to finishing the porno (which might actually be a good point). If anything, Luke Allen takes his characters is downright insane directions. There’s a plot twist in the second act that comes straight out of left field. Oh, I wish I could tell you what it was. I’m still thinking about it right now.
As bad as The Meadows is, is the film so bad, it’s good? That’s a tough one. The movie is terrible, but there is this fascination we all have watching “car crashes.” I’ll be honest; I did want to stay until the end to see if it’s consistently lousy, and it is. If you find some odd pleasure in watching The Meadows, and by all means, please do. But you’ve been warned.
"…is the film so bad, it's good? That's a tough one."