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Fantastic Fest 2017 Review: Applecart

Oct 6, 2017

By Matt Kahkonen

I saw 16 movies in 4 days at Fantastic Fest this year, and Applecart was easily the most disappointing. I was really excited for this one seeing as Don Coscarelli produced it and the buzz was that it was a practical effects creature feature, which is right up my alley. The sad truth is that Applecart is a bad movie.

The movie follows a family of four, along with a friend of the family, as they head into the woods to a wellness retreat. We find out early on that the father in this family has cancer and apparently there's some sort of weird mineral in these woods that can maybe cure cancer. This weird mineral/rock formation/supernatural thingamabob also has a coven of witches that worship it living nearby, which is where the conflict comes from.

If this was simply a family in the woods vs a bunch of crazy ass witches I think I'd like it more. Applecart really tries to ascend to something greater, but it falls apart on the way there. Throughout the movie there's a sort of fake TV show within the movie that is basically an Unsolved Mysteries type of show that is literally talking about how this family was massacred by their own mother. Meanwhile none of these events have happened yet and nobody's dead.

The entire plot never really coalesces into anything that makes a whole lot of sense. There's a subplot about the witches trying to get one of their own into political office and the family has to die for it to happen...except that reason is never explained properly. There's also zombies, but they're not really zombies. It's basically all a bunch of nonsense.

If the movie made absolutely no sense I'd still give it a pass if it had some cool monsters and some creative kills. Applecart amazingly manages to shit the bed on both of those aspects as well. The monsters look like Buffy the Vampire Slayer monsters of the week and the kills never amount to more than a decapitation or axe to the face. Nothing that hasn't been seen a thousand times.

Somewhere along the line, Applecart's convoluted premise might have sounded like a good idea, but what ended up on the screen is an incomprehensible mess of a movie that's devoid of pretty much any redeeming qualities.

Final Grade: 2/10