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Milo (May 25/01)

As far as ultra low-budget horror movies go, Milo isn't bad. It's got a terrific opening sequence, some genuinely talented actors and a few decent scares.

As the movie opens, a group of young girls are accompanying the school weirdo, Milo, to his house. He's promised to show them the aborted fetuses that his father, an abortionist, keeps in jars. Of course, Milo is a tad insane, and quickly proceeds to murder one of the girls and maim another. Cut to the present, and the girl that was maimed returns to her hometown for the wedding of one of her friends, only to discover she died in a car crash. And get this, she's beginning to see Milo (who always sports a yellow slicker) running about town. Of course, her other friends begin dropping like flies and she quickly deduces that her visions are in fact real and Milo is on the loose.

Milo is a cut above most straight-to-video horror flicks mostly due to the performance of the lead actress, named Paula Cale. Unlike most actresses in these sorts of movies, Cale is actually fairly talented. Now, I'm not talking talent in the realm of Meryl Streep or something, but given the caliber of performer that usually appears in this sort of film, Cale is surprisingly effective. She appears frightened when required of her, and that on it's own is enough to merit accolades. Usually, a wisecrack is substituted for a scream, but not here. She appreciates the gravity of the situation.

Which brings me to the biggest complaint I have of this movie (besides the silly storyline - I mean, c'mon. How did this kid survive two drownings and a stabbing? And why doesn't he age? I suppose they were setting this up to be a series, complete with an unstoppable, Jason-esque villain, but usually the first installment contains a modicum of logic), which is the kid playing Milo. I think they just hired this guy because of his cherubic face. I suppose they figured that he'd appear more evil if he looked like Cupid on a bad day. But this kid's idea of acting evil seems to be either scowling or screaming, or usually a combination of both.

Milo doesn't exactly raise the bar for the horror genre, but it doesn't give it a bad name either (Night Terrors, I'm looking in your direction).

out of