Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
What's it about
A low rent apartment building has a killer loose within and a strange cast of characters try to live through it. Can they survive or will the killer win?
Is it good movie?
There was a time and place where if Judd Nelson got top billing on a film it meant something. Well, maybe it did for a film or two. He shined in The Breakfast Club and New Jack City. And that’s about it. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess, but at some point after New Jack, he just seemed stopped caring and looked, well, a bit coked up. Or at least like a homeless guy with his dark glasses and disheveled hair. Now some twenty years later, Mr. Nelson looks the same but only more tired as he stars in Grayson Arms, a psychological horror film that takes place in a low rent version of Melrose Place with a cast of characters only fit for Jerry Springer. See, while the characters attempt to survive the day-to-day struggles of life, a masked killer also happens to be running amuck, knocking off the less likeable tenants. As the story progresses, a laundry list of possible suspects emerges. There’s a transvestite. The old, prejudice white lady. The stoner jerk. The psycho hot girl. And in-between them all sits Nelson, who appears overly eager to move in and get closer to a woman with some serious mental issues. And while all this occurs, things really change when new ownership takes over. The new owners (James Avery from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Stacey Dash from the Clueless TV show) seem determined to change the bad luck of the place. The only problem is that pesky killer.
Grayson Arms is a tough movie to recommend. There will be people who dig the cast of characters and the psychological elements within it. But let’s face it. Grayson Arms will remain what it is: a low budget movie with a mediocre directing that relies on the mystery of a killer, which ends up obvious. Each time the film seemed to head in the correct direction, the clichéd characters would hamper any momentum of the moment. It’s as if the writer bought a character trait book and stuck with it to a T. While there’s nothing wrong with that, viewers need characters to care for; otherwise, they end up like I was, rooting for everyone’s death. This is nothing any horror fan hasn’t seen before. It relies on treaded ground and never attempts to get out of that worn path or the rundown building.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen presentation.
Audio: It wasn't listed, but it sounded ok. Surround sound included!
Grayson Arms is good for a few laughs, but it’s not great by any stretch of imagination, something this lacks. Go find something worth your time unless you’re home drunk alone with a lot of time to kill and bags and bags of chips to eat.