The horror director talks Holliston, Hatchet III, and his future in horror
Friday, June 15, 2012
The film follows a group of friends who are partying in their new home. Right away the audience is aware that something odd is going on between Mr. and Mrs. Sohapi (Jaime King and Frank Grillo), who clearly aren't so happy (oh, snap!). Meanwhile, a trio of criminals are chaotically driving and shouting about the bad things that just happened to them when one of them insists that they go home. Home just so happens to be the new home of the unsuspecting party-goers. And...we have a movie.
The criminals barge into their house because the new homeowner was stupid enough to leave his front door unlocked, and when Daniel Sohapi responds to the noise upstairs, he realizes that he and his friends have some uninvited guests. Eventually, the rest of the Sohapi's friends realize what's going on and the entire group is held hostage by the crazy family who eventually call in their psychotic mother for extra help.
I didn't give a damn about ANY of the characters, beside George (Shawn Ashmore) who actually connected with one of the family members and actually challenged the mother. He was the only likeable character and he was kind of pushed to the side. I need more Shawn Ashmore, please.
There was an unnecessary story about child loss and an even more ridiculous subplot about Jaime King's character being pregnant and planning on leaving with the crazy family's money. She was clearly trying to protect her unborn child the entire time by lying to the crazy family about their money and allowing her friends to be tortured for hours. AND she remained pregnant even after flipping her car into a ditch and bitch-fighting Rebecca De Mornay. Totally believable. OH, and her husband was cheating on her with one of her friends. Yes, all of that shenanigans was in the film which would have done just fine without it. No, that isn't character development Darren Lynn Bousman, that's a bunch of bullshit you threw together to make it seem like your characters actually had reasons for their actions.
The criminals weren't really that scary, especially the weak-looking Addley who only liked to fight girls. The three good-sized men who he was holding in captivity could've charged at him and took him down in an instant but if they did there would have been no film. Even the main criminal, Ike, wasn't very intimidating at all. He was extremely good looking and the entire time I was hoping that he and King would just have sex.
De Mornay played the mother very well because she did come off both likeable and terrifying. She had the uncanny ability to play a character who could totally be your best friend one minute and easily turn on you without remorse. Basically, it was her character from The Hand That Rocks the Cradle...just older and less hot. And with less breastfeeding. Gah.
I didn't find the film to be overly gory but it was violent. The scene that bothered me most was when the son set one of the girl's hair on fire while she was tied up. It just gave me that overwhelming claustrophobic feeling of not being able to move because in her situation she couldn't move--she was totally powerless and had no choice but to deal with the pain. Plus, fire to your face and hair? Bitches need those physical attributes to get anything in life! You may as well just kill me after setting my face on fire because there would be no point in living. True that.
It was clear that the director had worked on the Saw franchise because some of the violent scenes were very Saw-esque. The criminals gave their victims a choice of how they wanted to die or handle a situation and allowed them to turn on each other without having to do any of the work. It just seemed very recycled and I would have rather seen something new.
The entire film seemed all over the place and at times, over-the-top. It was too unbelievable and the characters made some really irritating decisions. And can somebody please tell me why no one in the Sohapi's neighborhood heard the several gunshots that were fired at their home? They must have been deaf as hell because the criminals were shooting things up like they were at a Mexican parade.
I haven't seen the original so I have absolutely no idea how it compares. As a standalone film, it's completely passable. It didn't bring anything new to the table and it certainly didn't excite me or make me root for any of the characters. I didn't even want to finish it but I forced myself because I paid $1.25 to see it and I wanted to give it a fair review.
The film isn't worth a rent unless you are a fan of the original and want to see how well it stands up. There are no redeemable characters, there are no awesome scenes that make you shout "FUCK YEAH!" and there's nothing that is worth keeping your attention the whole way through. Not even nudity. So, screw this movie and rent something else. Thank me later.
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