A horror movie directed by the man who wrote all three Feast movies and the parts IV, V and VI of the Saw franchise? If you’re already turning pale at the thought of the end result then you’re probably best avoiding this one but it’s actually a damn fine horror movie and one of the better U.S. entries into the genre lately.
Josh Stewart plays Arkin, an ex-con working hard to get money to give his ex so that she can keep loan sharks at bay (and not have to run off, taking his daughter with her). Unfortunately, he’s not making enough so he assures her that if she gives him until midnight then he will be able to rob some rich pickings from his boss (Michael Reilly Burke). Things aren’t as easy as he thought, however, when he enters the house and finds that someone else is already in there and that they have booby-trapped almost every room.
Director Marcus Dunstan also co-writes alongside Patrick Melton and, given their shared franchise experience, it seems like an ideal pairing. The opening scenes sketch out the characters nicely and quickly get us onside with Arkin, despite the fact that he will end up readying himself to do something illegal and immoral. And when the horror and nastiness begins it’s as if both men have managed to encourage each other to go as far as they can, and impressively so.
This film is certainly not for the weak of stomach, it’s full of gore and scenes of protracted violence. It’s also full of style, surprising as that may seem for many. On more than one occasion, I was reminded of some of the better giallo movies of the past (heck, the killer wearing the mask and black gloves is just an image you can’t NOT associate with those particular films), even Suspiria was brought to mind – who can ever forget that girl forced to make her way through a pit of razor wire? What’s even more surprising is that it bears the comparison well.
Of course, logic and plausibility are low down on the list of priorities but the film does enough to keep you entertained and engrossed while it’s running, much like the equally unbelievable Law Abiding Citizen.
If you dislike the Saw movies, Inside and Shuttle then it’s really not worth your time bothering with this one. Others should definitely check it out.
DIRECTOR: MARCUS DUNSTAN
CAST: JOSH STEWART, MICHAEL REILLY BURKE, ANDREA ROTH, KARLEY SCOTT COLLINS
RUNTIME: APPROX 90 MINS