A Classic Horror Story is an ode to films like Saw and Cabin in the woods. But that does not mean that it anywhere compromises the uniqueness of its plot or keenness of its makers to make their point of view known to the audience. It can be debated whether the film was executed properly or not. Still, the directors’ intent, Roberto De Feo and Paolo Stipolli cannot be reprimanded in any manner.
It is a meta-horror film but refrains from stretching so much that it becomes a parody. The elements that feel spoof-fish are also intentionally and astutely curated to take a dig at contemporary times.
‘A Classic Horror Story’ Plot Summary
The narrative takes us to the lush green valleys of Southern Italy, where four unknown people decide to carpool to reach their different destinations. Every character has its own story, and they are totally unaware of what fate has in store for them. Elisa, Riccardo, Mark, and Sofia are driven by Fabrizio, a travel blogger. Elisa is going to get her pregnancy terminated while Riccardo is going to meet his daughter. Mark and Sofia are dating each other and are adamant enough to go against their family and end up together in life. But it seemed like fate had something else in store for them.
Mark takes over the wheel even after being drunk. He doses off for a flip second, and they crash into a tree. Everybody is unconscious, and when they gain consciousness, they realize that they are in the middle of a big field. Mark and Fabrizio, who were in the front seats, do not understand how they reached there. That was not the place where they had crashed the vehicle. Little do they realize that they were in for a show that they wouldn’t have even imagined in the wildest of their dreams.
The Cabin in the Woods
The five did not have a clue how they got to the field. They spot a cabin in close proximity and decide to go inside. They see some gory visuals inside the cabin. It was as if some spiritual practice was taking place there. They also find a girl named Chiara chained inside the attic. Since Mark was heavily wounded, he stayed inside the van. All four are figuring things out when they hear a loud sound of a siren and see red lights enveloping the whole place, making it look like it is smeared in blood. To their horror, some masked men bring Mark from the van and execute him inside the cabin. They witnessed the whole terrifying incident from a creak in the attic and were shocked and scared beyond any measures, they try to escape the place, but they reach the same point and realize that they were just moving in circles.
At that point, Fabrizio connects the whole fiasco to Italian folklore. He believes that the legend of Osso, Mastrosso, and Carcagnosso is actually true. In the folklore had taken revenge for their sisters’ rape, but they had o flee from their land. When they reached Italy, they formed a code of conduct while residing in different parts of the country. They founded certain societies that were a sort of fellowship of the local gangs. Fabrioso believed the masked men to be following a similar cult.
The Great Revelation
When they again reach the cabin and their efforts of escaping the scarred place just go in vain, the four of them decide to go into the attic itself because it was the only space where they felt that the masked men could not spot them. Amidst all the tension, they were able to look at the absurdity of the whole situation. Maybe that’s the beauty of the cerebral intricacies that the human brain is capable of perceiving and experiencing. We basically have the capacity to look beyond, at the bigger picture, which other species lack.
They all had a beer accompanied by a laugh or two. Elisa wakes up and finds that she is alone with Fabrizio in the attic. The red lights were again on, and the sirens were going on in full swing, but this time those masked people were outside. She sees that they had chained Riccardo and Sofia, and before she could even process anything, both of them get slaughtered. Elisa grows suspicious of Fabrizio and asks him what he had mixed in the beer that he gave them. She realizes that Fabrizio was conspiring with those people. The ear aid he was wearing was just a speaker through which he was coordinating with his fellow conspirators. It was all a trap!
What did Fabrizio want?
Fabrizio was actually making a film. He was trying to create violently gruesome content, which he knew there were a lot of audiences. The whole content/film was being funded by the Italian mafia, which was not the first time they were doing it. Elisa somehow escapes from the mafia’s clutches. She goes to a caravan where she realizes that even Chiara was part of the plan. Chiara and Fabrizio were siblings. They had created the whole situation just to get the genuine reactions of the victims. At the same time, they torture them and ultimately kill them. Elisa gets to know the whole plan. She gets hold of a gun, shoots both of them, and escapes the setup orchestrated by the Italian mafia.
Does Elisa Dies?
Elisa is the only one from the group who survives. She escapes from the mafia camp and ends up finding a place where she sees normal people finally. She enters the area, and the people take out their phones and start capturing this horrific sight of a woman smeared in blood. Elisa enters the ocean and cradles her womb with her hands. Maybe a signal that she wasn’t going to terminate her pregnancy now.
Give the audience what they like!
A Classic Horror Story takes a dig at what will happen when content creation becomes a process of just keeping the viewers entertained by latching on to their guilty pleasures and thereby getting views, likes, and doing a business out of it. Maybe that is what happens in this age where a new breed of individuals has originated, called the “social media influencers.” I am not at all stereotyping here, but most of these “influencers” create content that would make any genuine creator of yesteryear ignominious. There is no element of art or craft involved. Still, they are subtly just feeding onto the customers, i.e., each and everybody of us who likes to scroll the 30 seconders, reels as they call them, mindlessly and often endlessly.
Streaming on Netflix, watch A Classic Horror Story for its authenticity and being able to stand on its own feet even if it does so in a shaky manner.