Calibre / Cherry AK-47

It was Friday night. And as most Friday nights go, I had no plans. So I did what I always do in situations like this… find a horror movie to watch. There were a few on my shortlist to choose from. There was Raw, but I wasn't in the mood to read subtitles. There was It Comes At Night, but I had recently watched Hereditary and didn't want to jump right into another "artsy" A24 slow burn. And then there was the Netflix Original, Calibre. I hadn't heard anything about the movie. The only reason I was even aware of it was because Netflix dropped it in my "recommended" queue.

After deciding on the movie, I now had to choose what strain I was going to pair it with. I thought I'd be clever and riff off the movie's title by smoking on some Cherry AK-47. And just like the movie, I hadn't sampled this particular strain before and purchased it on a whim after it was recommended by the budtender for joint pain relief. In hindsight it probably wasn't the best suggestion, but we'll get to that later. I ground up some bud and packed my bowl.

Cherry AK-47 is a sativa-dominant strain that's a cherry phenotype of the Cannabis Cup Award Winning AK-47. Nugs are fluffy lime green with reddish orange hairs. I was expecting a distinct smell of cherry and was surprised when the overall aroma was clearly more on the "earthy" side with notes of sour pine. The inhale was smooth and flavorful. Effects don't immediately set in and take a little while to activate which gave me plenty of time to get ready for bed without any difficulty. Once the teeth were brushed and the pajamas were on, it was time to get this trip started.

As I mentioned earlier, I literally didn't know anything going into this film. I hadn't read any reviews, or speak with anyone who watched it. I'm also thankful I didn't watch the trailer beforehand. Since then, I have checked it out and boy does it ruin a pretty major plot point that was truly shocking when I saw it for the first time. Another thing I discovered after watching the movie is that Stephen King tweeted, "This one is a genuine nail-biter. It's got a Hitchcock vibe with a little bit of The Wicker Man tossed in for good measure." So yeah, try to stay spoiler free if you intend on checking this one out. Keeping in that spirit, I will attempt to make this as "major" spoiler free as possible.
This one is a genuine nail-biter. It's got a Hitchcock vibe with a little bit of The Wicker Man tossed in for good measure.
Calibre is impressive. And I'm not just saying that it's impressive for a "Netflix" movie. I'm looking at you Bright, Cloverfield Paradox, and How it Ends. No, Calibre is a legitimately impressive genre film that will keep your brain engaged and active throughout its 101 minute runtime. The movie stars Jack Lowden (Dunkirk) and Martin McCann as lifelong friends Vaughn and Marcus. We're shown early on that Vaughn is settling into adulthood and is expecting his first child with his wife Anne (Olivia Morgan, Dartmoor Killing). Marcus, on the other hand, is still a freewheeling bachelor that appears to have no plans of settling down any time soon. To celebrate one last time before Vaughn becomes a father, Marcus invites him to weekend guys trip out in the Scottish Highlands.

By the time the boys arrive in the small tight knit village, I begin wondering when the effects of my Cherry AK-47 would start kicking in. Yeah, I was feeling a nice relaxing high, but nothing like the stoned couch-locked euphoria that the budtender described. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I should say that I had built up a pretty large tolerance at this point and was due for a high-atus. So there's a chance I wasn't able to experience all that Cherry AK-47 had to offer.

That night, Vaughn and Marcus spend the evening at a pub drinking, meeting the locals, and ultimately end up bringing a couple girls back to their rooms for the night. Vaughn's moral conscience steps in and stears him away from taking things too far, but Marcus keeps the party going all night with his one night stand. This is the first of many bad decisions Marcus will make throughout the course of the story. The next day the two go hunting in the nearby forests. What happens next is a tragic tale involving a series of exponentially tragic events. And that's what fascinated me most about this movie. Each time our two protagonists(?) find themselves in a predicament gone terribly wrong, I kept thinking things wouldn't have even got to this point had they chosen a different path during their last terrible predicament. It's unnerving to see two people spiral down such a dark path each time their morals are put to the test. Suffice it to say, the tension continues to snowball out of control and ratchet up until all morality is thrown out the window and things ultimately boil over resulting in one of the two friends confronted with making one final life-or-death decision.

Apologies for being vague, but as I said at the top, I truly believe the best way to experience this movie (aside from being high) is going in blind. Overall, Caliber is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that illustrates how guilt and fear can drive people into a web of deceit too deep to untangle from. I can't recommend Calibre enough. It's smart, engaging, and will keep your head shaking in shock. Come to think of it, it's probably a good thing the Cherry AK-47 didn't knock me on my ass or else I may not have had the capacity to keep up with all the little details.

How about you? Have you watched Calibre or tried Cherry AK-47? What are your thoughts? Did you have a similar experience? Please leave a comment and let me know. And of course, don't forget to follow Bloody High on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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