aka Putevoy Obkhodchik (Original Title)
95 min., 2007
Written by Valery Krechetov/Viktor Sorokin
Directed by Igor Shavlak
My rating: ★★★
A pretty good Russian horror movie.
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The movie begins with two men talking about an escape. A little later we switch to a bank where a few cops walk into. After a little bit of time, one of the cops notices the empty shell of a bullet on the floor and that’s when three guys pop up and one of them opens fire. After a little shoot out, each of the three men grab a hostage and make their escape. They go down into an abandoned subway and start to make their way to the exit. We finally get to know each of the people. The three robbers are Grom (Dmitri Orlov) who is the overall leader, Irkut (Oleg Kamenshchikov) the follower, and Kostya (Tomas Motskus) the hothead. The three hostages consist of Olga (Yuliya Mikhailova) the more level headed of the two girls, Katya (Svetlana Metkina) the girl who tends to freak out and Anatoly (Aleksandr Vysokovskiy) who was one of the only cops who survived. Once down there, the story of an experiment gone wrong and one of the people experimented on escaped to the very tunnels they are traveling down. Is the story real or just a hoax?
The acting was actually pretty good throughout. Dmitri Orlov was the best by far. He was believable when switching from commanding to compassionate. My other favorite was Svetlana Metkina. When she freaks out it’s completely believable and then she finally decides to stand tall and it’s still believable, instead of feeling forced. Everyone else was pretty good, but no one else really stood out.
The effects ranged from great to very mediocre. The use of the eye-gouging machine was pretty cool; I just wish I could have seen more of it. The deaths are convincingly done, but every once in a while it felt like they didn’t know how to knock someone off, so they just came up with something at the last minute and it didn’t fully work.
Compared to the last Russian horror movie I saw (if you don’t remember, it was the chaos known as Visions Of Suffering) this movie is the most paint-by-numbers movie ever. Is that a flaw? Not really. I was just expecting something completely different and I was pleasantly surprised. The story is pretty straightforward, but it’s also completely fun. People getting stalked by an unknown evil is nothing new, but the overall feel of the movie is what really pulled me in. The subway is extremely believable and has a very eerie feel to it, almost like it has a life of its own. Trackman comes off very good as well. He reminds me a lot of Michael Myers, in that he doesn’t talk and you really don’t know why he is doing what he is doing. It’s nice to see a villain killing just to kill. The few flaws that stand tall is the over use of slow-motion, not in the way that Thriller used it, but it was almost every scene where something was moving in slow-motion (breathing, walking, etc.). The other problem that I have is with the ending. It felt more like a copout because they painted themselves into a corner. It was cheesy and left me groaning. In the end it was overall enjoyable and worth a watch, just don’t expect much from the ending.Have You Read...?