91 min., 2013
Written by Fede Alvarez/Rodo Sayagues
Directed by Fede Alvarez
My rating: ★★
As a reboot or sequel it just doesn’t work for me.
* * *
The movie starts with a girl tied to a beam and she is trying to talk to her father but it turns out that she is possessed and her father must kill her. After that we have five people who have gone to a cabin deep in some woods. Consisting of a teacher named Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), a nurse Olivia (Jessica Lucas), drug addict Mia (Jane Levy), her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) and his girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore). You see Mia had overdosed before (to the point that she died) and she is trying to clean up again and her friends are there to help. Last time David wasn’t there and Mia really holds that against him, well actually it’s more because their mother was dying and going crazy and David was never there because he was at his job. As they enter the cabin Mia notices a smell that no one else does but after a little time they discover a door that leads to a cellar and in that cellar is another room that has a bunch of cat hanging from the ceiling from barbwire. Also in the room is a book that is wrapped in a plastic bag and barbwire. A little more time goes by and Eric decides to open the book and start reading from it (even though there are about a billion warnings throughout the book). Suddenly Mia is possessed by something and she starts to act even crazier but everyone thinks it’s just the drug addiction. Will Mia be helped by her friends or will this demon kill everyone?
Now this is a time when I don’t know who to blame when it comes to most of the acting. I really want to blame the actors, but then again if the director was blind enough to let it go through this way, then he should get the blame. For one the way the dialogue is delivered is just really……………annoying. There was pretty much a three to five second pause in-between almost every line of dialogue. I understand using that to raise tension but it was done even during the most mundane dialogue. One top of that there were just scenes that took swearing to an annoying level. You remember when you were a kid and you started swearing and you did it because you thought it was cool, but as you got older it became less important because you actually could swear without punishment. This movie seems to have been written by a kid that thought that swearing was the best way to express emotions and he decided to fill it with so much just because he could. Swearing doesn’t make emotions more powerful, if anything having someone yell fuck about ten times in a row makes it more childish than anything else. Actors should be able to use their face (or body) to express emotions and not just swear to try to get an emotion across. Lastly these are the worst actors when it comes to expression sadness. David’s friend (who he hadn’t seen in some time, but still) dies and he really doesn’t seem to care, and when is girlfriend is possessed he’s really more shocked than anything else. I would expect him to maybe be a little angry or sad about it. Most of the time the actors walked around with deadpan faces.
The effects are where this movie really shines. Even when it’s CG it’s still really good. There are a lot of “personal” violence, stuff by the eyeball, affecting the tongue and slow cuts to the body that really make an impact. Then there is the over the top stuff that really takes it to a new level. They are fun but after a while I really just got annoyed. Mainly because it just seemed to be gore and violence and nothing else.
The acting was horrible but the effects are great, so where does this leave me. Well my main problem is that the movie seems to rely too much on the gore and ignore the overall story. Once shit started happening it seems that all forms of logic where thrown out the window. Actually it happened before that when Eric decided to read the book out loud. The funny thing is that the book had so many warning that it felt like the book was a PSA. DON’T READ THIS OUT LOUD!!!! Okay I will. Fucking morons you get what you deserve. Then you have a big bad demon that is killed off in a really simple way. No counter spells, no rituals, nothing but a chainsaw and a stupid “badass” one-liner. Lackey said it best that it’s like they took a page out of Joss Whedon’s book on how to handle the big bad guy. I couldn’t agree more. Well if you like gore and really no story, this movie is for you.Have You Read...?