31 (2016)


Written & Directed By: Rob Zombie
Cinematography By: David Daniel
Editor: Glenn Garland 

Cast: Sherri Moon Zombie, Jeff Daniels Phillips, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Meg Foster, Lew Temple, Malcolm McDowell, Judy Geeson, Elizabeth Daily, Ginger Lynn, Jane Carr, Torsten Voges, Ricahrd Brake, Daniel Roebuck, Tracy Walter, Esperanza America, Andrea Dora 

The day before Halloween, five carnival employees are kidnapped & held hostage in an isolated compound known as “Murderworld”. On Halloween, they are thrown into a sadistic game called “31” where they must survive 12 hours against a gang of maniacs dressed like clowns. It’s time to play 31.

This film was fully Crowd-funded and as it was made independently.It is also one of Rob Zombie’s most brutal films. Though in a career in horror his movies have been filled with some jaw-dropping violence.

When it comes to the movies of Rob Zombie, He has talent but it seems he gets in his own way that usually sink the films. Though he definitely has a style. I just wish he worked with a co-screenwriter at times to work out the kinks. Though strangely i keep coming back to watch his latest. As he obviously has a love of the genre. I guess like Eli Roth. I keep waiting for one masterpiece to make his mark. hoping that this film will be better than the last or good. Though his characters dialogue can be embarassing.

I would love to see what he does with a genre piece non-horror. My favorite film he has made was the animated El-SUPERBEASTO. Though out of love action films I of course really liked THE DEVIL’S REJECTS. THE WITCHES OF SALEM was stylistically really good and assured, but fell short in some ways.

When it comes to rob zombie’s film I don’t mind him wanting to showcase certain type of characters, but half the time they are barely sympathetic. Here I am talking about the victims/protagonists. No one deserves death but sometimes he argues the case of feeling sorry for them. Though half of them haven’t fully committed any sins. Just distasteful characters sometimes. Though the truly innocents ever truly felt like the characters in HOUSE OF 1,000 corpses and strangely enough his HALLOWEEN 2.

The dialogue he writes at times just seems like a character trying to turn a phrase with gross and disgusting language and coming up with one liners to sit situations.

Rob Zombie clearly has a love of horror and the 70’s as most of his films might not have taken place then, but seem designed from that decade as far as production design.

Usually casting his wife in the lead role helps her acting career. Though we are presented with the same protagonist. Which makes her his muse and apparently only his. She is a beauty and luckily as the roles are written for her she knows how to play the limited characterizations. As they all seem similar when she is not a killer herself.

Though truly this film seems aimed at his fans and fans of his type of horror films as it offers a concept but nothing familiar. The closest type of other film i would say this reminds me of would be. The horror equivalent of THE RUNNING MAN. Though strangely it doesn’t seem to offer much of anything different

One of the most entertaining aspects of the film is watching former co-cheese Lawrence Hilton Jacobs from WELCOME BACK KOTTER use a West Indian accent and having straight hair instead of his classic Afro or hi-too fade he was known for in his previous roles.

Rob Zombie seems to be the horror version of Quentin Tarantino a rock star filmmaker whose films are popular only her doesn’t have the skills. Though he has an eye, bit is not as strong a writer though he likes to cast familiar character actors synonymous with horror and pop culture. Plus he tends to like to shock the audience.

Here he also adds to his mix a well Know fear of clowns. As half the killers are made up in make-up and psycho.

The main killer of this film gives monologues on fate and life. That seems abbot much as most of the killers either taunt their victims or have a gimmick and just want to get to the killing after introducing themselves. Here they are treated like super villains in action films especially the main one. as they have a need to share and explain their brilliance and what they are going to do as they can’t really share the plan or the details without other troubles. Is it the intimidation factor as part of the torture and eventual death? Or is this the only time they can be themselves?

They set up the circumstance but so they really seem like the type to pay by the rules And keep their word? The players have no choice as it is all they have to hold Onto to survive and have a somewhat happy ending.

This film tries To be unhinged and crazy but lacks that random unpredictable nature.

The film is gruesome at times and extreme to a ridiculous manner. As this is a no hold barred horror film or concerned with anything but entertaining fans of the genre. Though there seems to be nothing to revel in. no real room for any kind of enjoyment on any level. As this isn’t trying to be realistic and exists more on a b -level you would expect something or some kind of reason and humor even.

While the film and action plays out like a sadistic game. It offers no rhyme or reason. It exists more in just a fake movie world. It just seems to be made to be brutal and plays out like some bloodlust fantasy. Not the dream project that it seems to be described or advertised as. Doesn’t seem worth the effort or that inspired.

The film feels like something that could have been done instead of just constant cruelty. Of only a few more ideas had been used and some details added. Those little details can make an impact and would make the film go the extra mile.

As the film feels empty as it is not as cool, scary or even all that nostalgic. As it just feels cruel and somewhat random. It doesn’t even seem like there is too much effort either.

Though the film never lands or conjures up any fear as it seems more like. A very violent action film.

Grade: D

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