New streaming exclusively on Tubi!
Directed by Steven R. Monroe.
Written by Spyder Dobrofsky.
Starring Murray Gray, Jeff Branson, Rachel Thundat, Megan Lee, Monroe Cline, Meredith Jackson, Ellie Grace Pomeroy, Michael Maclane, Bradley Fisher, Steven M. Porter
A high school writing group chaperoned by two teachers take a school trip to a ghost town for some reason and end up stirring up some real ghosts and a horrible town secret.
I’m glad Tubi is beginning to make its own content, though the quality of that content is pretty bad, unfortunately. I’m in no rush to see TITANIC 666, but one of these days, maybe they’ll put out something cool. TEARDROP isn’t that, but it’s not terrible either.
TEARDROP is as middle of the road as you’re going to get. I don’t know what kind of school you went to, but in some strange universe, schools have the budget to fund them and teachers think it’s a good idea to take minors on a trip to dangerous locations. I don’t know how many movies center on this concept. I get it. You need to get a group of people into a strange environment, but TEARDROP barely does the work to make this a believable scenario. None of the three kids seem like they want to be writers; one is studious, the other is a wannabe rapper, and the third is simply there as eye candy because of her huge rack. This is labeled as a writing trip by the two teachers but they’re too interested in each other to watch the kids. None of the kids seem age appropriate, which is the norm in Hollywood movies. And there’s not a lot of learning experiences going on, leaving the kids to wander off, get high, flirt with one another, and get tormented by ghosts. I just wish they would have thought through the initial premise of the school trip and made it a logical part of the story rather than simply getting people who hardly know each other together to get terrified by the monster of the week. TEARDROP is not the only film guilty of this crime, but it is a symptom of a script and concept simply not well thought out and prevalent in too many to count.
The acting is serviceable by the two teacher leads. Jeff Branson’s hair is a little too perfect, but he plays the part as he becomes more and more obsessed with the lore of the ghost town called Teardrop. Murray Gray is much stronger as Rebecca, the perfect candidate for the final girl. I also liked the old innkeeper Denver, played by AMERICAN HORROR STORY and PARKS AND RECREATION’s Bradley Fisher, who delivers some hokey lines, but gives them the gravitas to work.
I don’t want to write off TEARDROP completely. It has a sort of TV horror sort of vibe where nothing is too intense and scary, but there are some creepy scenes throughout. The film incorporates some creepy scenes with scarecrows looking like human-sized Raggedy Anne and Andy’s. It also smartly uses small bits of CGI to its maximum potential in a demon dog sequence in the barn which highlights only the dog’s eye-shine in the darkness. This shows a bit of tact and intelligence behind this film, knowing it’s limitations in budget, yet still maximizing what they have.
After meandering through the plot for about an hour, TEARDROP picks up some steam towards the end and grows some teeth as the students begin to be picked off. I wish the fun and intensity of the last half hour would have been more evenly dispersed. Don’t expect much from this one, but I’m glad Tubi is doing what it’s doing. They just nabbed the rights to make a TERROR TRAIN remake, so maybe that will be the one to look forward to.