UK Release date: 17th January 2011 (DVD Premiere)
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 8th December 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I really can’t remember just how this one ended up on ‘The List’, but it did and so had to be watched (them’s the rules). I must say, despite it getting pretty low scores on RT and the IMDb, I didn’t think it was all that bad. Or to put it another way; I’ve seen much worse, higher profile, films that have gone on to make more bucks. Here’s a very brief summary then I’ll tell you why I didn’t dislike it.
We begin with a home invasion where a family is held captive and the mother and father are tied up. The hooded assailant forces the teenage daughter to choose which of her parents is to be killed. Pretty horrific stuff. We then focus on journalism student, Fiona Wagner (Katheryn Winnick), who is haunted by the suicide of her mother several years ago in a seedy motel. As news of another murder begins to appear on the news, she begins to get messages from a mysterious stranger who seems to know more about her mother’s death than they should. Even suggesting that it may not have been suicide and she might have had to make a choice. Fiona’s father, Sheriff Tom Wagner (Kevin Pollak), is investigating the most recent murder while Fiona begins to put the pieces together. Her search brings her to former a young offender’s facility and a professor who used to work there; Dr. Ronald Pendleton (Bruce Dern), who may have the final clue to the identity of the killer. But is the killer manipulating Fiona to his own ends?...
It’s pretty well made, although on a budget. I did find it pretty creepy in a few places and I liked that it didn’t slip too far into ‘cliché territory’. The performances were all good and it was nice to see Bruce Dern still working, although he only had a small part to play in this one. Ok, so why didn’t I dislike it as much as everyone else seems to? Well, first of all it doesn’t try to be too clever; I did try to second guess the identity of the killer but was way off because there are very few breadcrumbs to follow. Second, although it takes you to the edge of the cliché, e.g. the idiot friends who get our heroine into trouble routine; but never quite gets there. There has to be the scene where at least one stupid person walks into a darkened room with just a torch and ends up being trapped (it’s one of the hard and fast of the horror genre isn’t it?). Finally, I liked the way the ending was left open to interpretation and the fact that, at 86 minutes, it wasn’t too long! Over all, although not the very best horror I’ve ever seen it’s certainly one that stands out because it doesn’t always follow the rules.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 6.4/10
IMDb Score: 4.6/10 (based on 1,925 votes at the time of going to press).
MetaScore: No data: (Based on 0 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 28/100 ‘Liked It’ (based on 809 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
Sara: Oh my God. Jess told me that he's like way into Ella. Ugh. Can you say slut?
Lisa: [on video chat] I heard she gave him a blumpy.
Sara: Boys are disgusting. And that guy Nick? He's thinks he's all like, look at me, I'm so beautiful.
Lisa: I think he's kinda cute.
Sara: No. No. I mean he's kinda hot, but he's *not* God's gift. No.
Lisa: I heard he hooked up with Michelle.
Sara: *No* he did not.
Elliot Vincent: [mockingly] He totally did. Like for real.
Brian: Holy shit, who doesn't love a girl who knows the Dewey Decimal system.