Steven Miller is an up and coming horror director and if he keeps on his current pace he will very quickly become an icon within the genre. His first film Automaton Transfusion did not turn my crank because of its editing but it was a fan favourite and since then he has made two more note worthy films Aggression Scale and Silent Night which are both creating a buzz with fans.
This is my review of the first of the two which is possibly one of the best horror films of 2012.
I never get caught up in what critics say about movies and if i did I probably would not have seen Aggression Scale. I am not a film critic. I am a fan who happens to run a blog with a few fans who read it and my opinion is that of a fan and nothing more. For me Aggression Scale is an example of how to do a horror movie perfectly if you follow the old school horror formula.
Aggression Scale is the story of a man who moves his autistic son ( I think he is its not stated in the movie ) his new step daughter and wife to the country to start over. He neglects to tell his new family that he is on the run after having robbed the mob. True to most mob movies they dont take it well and Ray Wise who plays the mob boss dispatches some incredibly vicious killers to retrieve his money and deal with the thief and his family. For genre fans you will be pleased to note that Derek Mears is one of these mob enforcers.
This may sound like standard fare but it is far from it because Steven Miller and the screenwriter Ben Powell have in true classic horror fashion thrown a small twist to an other wise simple concept. They start with answering the question of where did this money go?
It was spent to free the teenage son from a hospital where he was sent because he has an aggression problem. When people try to hurt him or his family he uses his natural gift for violence to maim and kill them. On an aggression scale he scores 99.5 out of 100 and is deemed a danger to all who cross his path.
Aggression Scale is a careful cross of Home Alone meets Last House on the Left and is easily one of the most creative and entertaining thrillers I have seen since Adam Green's SPIRAL. Steven Miller has managed to turn in a movie that I think icons like Tobe Hooper and Wes Craven would look at with admiration and see their influence at work.
Aggression Scale is not about splashy special effects or a hip young cast its a simple, brutal and vicious story of a family under assault and a very dangerous teenager who takes matters into his own hands to deal with the aggressors.
If you liked Last House on the Left, The Strangers or simply admire classic horror then Aggression Scale is definitely for you.