REVIEW: Cherish (2016)

From the team that made the wrestle-fest horror flick Turn Heel, Cherish is about as far removed from their previous film as you can imagine.

After a couple find a bag of intestines in a park that also contains a bloody VHS tape, they take it home and are (for some reason) surprised to find it is a snuff tape. After sitting through the entire thing, the creators of the tape sneak into their home, drug them, and begin using them for another round of sick torture.

The thing about Cherish that will turn off most viewers is the several minutes of footage that we are shown while the couple are watching the VHS tape, which is all real violence, sex, and abuse footage. Obviously culled from the internet, the clips are of bizarre or disturbing sex acts, surgeries, real beheadings, suicides, deaths, and the like. Basically, it’s a condensed version of Most Disturbed Person on Planet Earth, with a wrap-around plot. Not for many viewers, and even die-hard horror fans will likely be turned off by the intense real-life showings.

The fact that the middle portion of the film contains so much real brutality – and it is unflinchingly brutal – may be the downfall for the final act. Although the torture of the couple is extremely well done for no-budget cinema, the audience was just forced into nearly 10 minutes of the real thing. This takes away from the extremity of the final act, but the ending is still a showpiece as it stands, and the creative destruction of the human bodies is definitely a cherry on top of an otherwise hard to swallow film.

Completely devoid of the heart that made up their film Turn Heel, I believe they accomplished with Cherish exactly what was wanted – a dark, vile piece of SOV cinema that really makes a mark. Whether that mark is a pill you want to swallow is entirely up to you.

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