So this movie kinda surprised me. It is an indie movie. I knew that coming in and it became apparent very quickly with the overall editing and directing of the movie. The opening 30 mins or so felt like it was entirely shot with a small handheld camera, and with tight headshots of the actors, it was a little disorienting. This included the initial chaos sequence which was filled with shaky-cam times a thousand. GAH FREAKING SHAKY CAM! I hate this crutch that so many film makers use to create more tension/chaos. All it does for me is make me not be able to tell where anything is. Fortunately Adam Wingard stops using it after that, but man handheld camera+shaky cam=have to turn away from the screen its so disorienting. Additionally at the beginning the actors looked very uncomfortable with their characters and the situation. In other words, there was some pretty bad acting before the meat of the story began.
However, once the chaos did begin the actors became more comfortable in their roles and the movie became a suspense-filled horror movie. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the next hour and even found myself yelling at the TV as characters would be on the verge of getting killed saying things like OMG DUDE HE'S RIGHT THERE! or whatever. In other words, I had a tremendous amount of fun during the chaos. There was a great mesh of humor and horror to keep the movie scary, but containing a light-hearted tone throughout. Definitely more so than supernatural horrors of recent memory like Insidious and Sinister. Honestly the movie I couldn't help but think of as I was watching this was Cabin in the Woods with this mix. Also the survivalist character of this movie, played by Sharni Vinson, (it's not a spoiler because you don't know who that is!!!) is a freaking badass. Sorry Kristen Connolly, but she's got you beat. Finally the kills are the calling card of the movie. Some of them are freaking gruesome. Like a blender! I learned that a blender can be a lethal weapon when it needs to be. If you feel that's a spoiler, I'm sorry. But there are a lot of kills just as crazy as that one that I haven't talked about. So there's that.
I don't want to talk to much about this (even less so than usual) because part of the joy of this movie is going into it not knowing what's going to happen. I would've liked to have known more about the villains of this movie, as they are just kind of generic bad guys that we didn't know anything about by the end. Also one of the character's story arc is awful. I will go into that at the end of the review in a spoiler section. But still, this movie is a lot of fun. No life lesson or overarching theme, but it's short, at 90 minutes, and fast-paced after the set-up, with several twists that I didn't see coming to keep me guessing despite its overall formulaic story. If you like horror and haven't seen this yet, make it a priority.
The Critique: a great horror film filled with twists and turns and enough humor to keep it fun and lighthearted, despite it's gruesome violence.
The Recommendation: horror buffs need to be sure to add this one to their library. Also guys this is a good cuddling movie if your girl can stand blood. It's definitely not scary enough that she'll be mad afterwards. HINT HINT
The Verdict: 7/10 Good
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT
THIS PARAGRAPH HAS MAJOR SPOILERS!!!!!!
Ok so here's my biggest problem with this movie. The survivalist, as I said, is amazing. She starts out as this seemingly innocent college TA and then it turns out she has a past that allows her to be the survivalist. I bought this part 100%. But at the end when the whole whodunit plot is finally revealed to be her bf (the whole I want my parents inheritance so I'm going to hire people to kill everyone behind this was very generic and I didn't buy it for a second, by the way) she freaking kills him, despite him being unarmed and begging for forgiveness, and offering her a lot of money. This puts her on the same level as the villains of the movie. There was no redeeming of her character because she was shot the second she stabs him by a cop, who then also proceeds to die! So every single person involved in this movie dies. I know that's how most horror movies go, but this one didn't have to go there. Up until she killed her bf, everything from her had been out of self-defense. She just killed him for revenge. And when he asked her why as he died, she simply responded with, "Why the fuck not?" I did not like that at all given the character we saw before the chaos began. So that's my biggest complaint. Obviously not too big cause I still gave the movie a 7 but I did feel that it needed to be brought up. Ok now it's time to find my happy place.