When Stevan Mena's "Malevolence" bowed back in 2005, it may have looked like any other slasher to arrive on store shelves, but its writer/director had something bigger in mind: an entire trilogy that would be composed of both a prequel and a sequel. Two years ago, that prequel ("Bereavement") finally arrived, and Mena has now turned to Kickstarter to fund the sequel, which is currently titled "Malevolence 3."
For the uninitiated, "Malevolence" centers on a woman and her daughter who are kidnapped by a group of bank robbers. When the gang decides to hole up in a house on the outskirts of town, it's very much the wrong house, as it attracts the attention of a nearby serial killer. Even though the identity of the killer isn't revealed until the climax, the series still revolves around him, as "Bereavement" flashes back to fill in his backstory.
The next film, which is being touted as "the final chapter," will "return to where it all began" when the psychopathic Martin Bristol returns to the house from which he was abducted as a boy. After being subjected to his kidnapper's torture for several years, he's unleashed upon the nearby town, where he begins to stalk and kill "without remorse." His targets seem to be random-or are they?
Further complicating matters is his family's discovery of his fate; not only have they found out that their son is alive, but he's also responsible for a killing spree. The film will find them racing to reunite with their long lost son as an FBI agent also tracks him with the intent of bringing him down.
That sounds quite different from both of the previous films, but that's the neat thing about this trilogy: it's out to tell a complete story without recycling the same structure each time out.
Mena also promises that the film will be similarly unrelenting; in fact, that's one of the reasons he's turned to crowd funding. Since the "dark and taboo content" of the previous film has "resulted in a lot of hesitation" on the part of potential backers, Mena is looking to string this one together on his own-just as he did for the previous films.
Those familiar with the films are aware of Mena's do-it-yourself ethos, and he goes into detail about it on his Kickstarter page. In short, he's seeking to use this project as a "way to democratize film production and distribution" so that artists can be in control of their own product.
The onus is on horror fans for this one: if they want to support one of the genre's scrappier visionaries, here's a direct chance to do so. As Mena himself notes, "Kickstarter" presents the unique opportunity for filmmakers and fans to collaborate and bring projects to life.
As recently as a few years ago, "Malevolence 3" might have been dead in the water. Now, it has a slasher's chance.
- Arts & Entertainment