This is one of the After Dark
Horrorfest 8 films to die for from last year. It is a very ambitious
film that tackles the story of a world gone crazy. In the near
future we run out of gas, which by itself brings down human civilization.
Without the gas the electric goes out. Lack of electricity means
no refrigeration, which combined with lack of transportation leads to
famine. Soon the government has lost control and ĺ of the worldís
population is dead. Small groups of scavengers are left to make
do with what they can find. One of these groups stumbles on a
man being attacked by an axe-wielding cannibal (you find that out later)
but are too late to save him. But nearby is the manís girlfriend,
who they take back to their home in a barricaded hospital. Unfortunately
the cannibal has followed them and he brought friends.
This one had some potential
and at times I thought was going to be a cool movie. But as close
as the movie gets to being good in the end it fails. The plot
has been done to death with the post apocalyptic world storyline.
Though the angle of a gas shortage bringing everything down was sort
of different and actually plausible. So that kind of worked for
me. The movie also manages some tension, especially when the survivors
are hiding from the cannibals in the hospital. I do think the
movie stayed with some of those scenes too long. The pacing of
the film is very slow. This works well for the movie when it wants
to build tension and at other times makes for a boring watch.
Two other complaints that I had with the movie were the predictable
characters and a plot twist that is obvious. Within 5 minutes
of all of the characters being introduced I knew who would live and
die, as well as the order it would happen in. I donít consider
this to be a real deficiency with the script, because many movies follow
that formula and are entertaining. But when this is combined with
an obvious twist that is confirmed early on with what isnít shown
on screen then I start to get picky. Iím not going to spoil
anything, but when you watch the movie pay close attention to the first
time the cannibals attack at night.
On a positive note the cast
is good and filled out with familiar faces. As a Cabin Fever fan
I enjoyed seeing Rider Strong in another horror movie. Vinnie
Jones (The Condemned), Michael Madsen (Kill Bill), and Robert Carradine
(Body Bags) also have parts in the movie. Hell they arenít the
only other recognizable faces in the cast either. This isnít
the most original or best written script Iíve ever seen filmed, but
with this much talent on the cast I think the material is elevated.
Plus Madsen and Jones get to play badass cannibals!
As is the case with most lower
budget movies there is some CGI. Iíll not go into why that sucks,
because I donít want to sound like a broken record. I will say
that it is combined with some fun practical effects to make a few really
bloody kills. Not only that but there are a couple of mean in
your face kills that are neat. The camera work and sound are adequate.
But what stands out about the movie are the locations. This feels
like a much bigger budgeted movie. A good location can go a long
way to make your movie better and these guys had a couple of great places
CGI, bad pacing, and a predictable
script make me hesitate giving this movie a good review. But a
great cast, some decent gore, and few good kills really wonít let
me trash the movie either. God this is a hard one to review.
I suppose that I can recommend this one for a rental, but I doubt this
goes on anyoneís repeated viewing list.
-John ďEl JuanĒ Shatzer