Slashing through the snow, stabbing you in the brain, here comes Curtains; a Canadian slasher where a group of aging and wannabe actresses get caught up in a (literal) cut throat competition for a movie role of a lifetime. Secluded in a wintery mansion getaway, grizzled director Jonathan Stryker beckons a group of six rising and fading starlets to display their talents in a winner take all competition to get the lead part in his famous “Audra” movie series; a franchise apparently focusing on the life of a neurotic woman. The actress previously filling the role fakes insanity and has herself committed herself to a mental asylum to see what it’s really like in a nut house. After having her fill of random tickling and jigsaw puzzle piece thievery she’s ready to fly the coup, but Stryker forbids it “Daaaarrrrrling…save it for the movie.”
Although it’s never apparent exactly why Stryker invites the six women into his home (watch them perform interpretive dancing maybe?), one can only assume by his actions that his motives lay below the belt-line; he shags through the women in short order like a greased up Spartan. While Stryker coyly manipulates each woman in the house on to his casting couch and into caressing each others joy bubbles “No, no, no, no, NO! Seduce her! Think like a man!” a killer wearing an old hag mask is cutting out the competition Tonya Harding style; during the one of the film’s feature murders showcases the slasher villain attacks an unlucky girl with a home made hand sickle while ice skating.
Curtains sure is a kinky minx. There’s a scene where a rape scenario unexpectedly turns into a couple’s misogynistic sex game:
Guy -“Next week I’ll be the pizza delivery guy.”
Broad –“The pepperoni always gets stuck to my ass.”
Guy - “That’s the only way it stays warm!”
There’s a brooding character named Mike with zero lines whose sole existence in the story is seemingly to bang hopeful starlets off the side of Stryker’s Jacuzzi and swig vodka. He’s so insignificant to the story that he dies completely off camera and without mention from anyone in the cast. If the movie seems more sporadic than sniper fire from Stevie Wonder, well you’re probably right. The Canadian production was reportedly a huge stinker with a lot of issues for the tissues, but somehow I think it’s better for having all those chefs in the kitchen. The unpredictable nature of the movie plays well into the whodunit dynamics of the script, and despite the illogical, teleporting killer and unexplained droopy eye doll that inexplicably shows up at every kill scene, the movie manages to chug along and entertain. Although I find myself calling the final girl “Chick that got nailed in the Jacuzzi” the characters that the movie spends the most time with are interesting and well acted. The rarity of it being a winter-time slasher film also makes it quite the gem to hardcore slashheads.