Directed By Marcus Dunstan
Written By: Marcus Dunstan & Patrick Melton
Cinematography By: Brandon Cox
Editor: Alex Luna, Howard E. Smith, James Mastracco
Cast: Josh Stewart, Andrea Roth, Madeline Zima, Robert Wisdom
Desperate to repay his debt to his ex-wife, an ex-con plots a heist at his new employer’s country home, unaware that a second criminal has also targeted the property, and rigged it with a series of deadly traps.
Not to be confused with the superior 1960’s film Starring Terrence Stamp. Both films are scary but The 1960’s one was more of a psychological drama/Thriller. This film is more gruesome horror.
I have mixed feeling about this film because it represents my feelings on two sides of the horror issue. The film is both Stylish and inventive yet feels heavily influenced by the saw films. It is gratuitous and at times unnecessarily violent. Literally most of the deaths involve overkill. I’m no prude but at times enough is enough. I don’t need to see every gory detail precisely. For that I would watch live surgery. Other films have been able to achieve more with less.
The film is literally a case of cat and mouse as a man who works as a construction worker on a families house is also casing it to rob while the family is away. He is doing it to pay off his bookies. Only when he breaks in late at night he finds out not only is the family still at home but the house has been booby trapped by a killer who is torturing the parents. The thief sneaks around the house looking for the couples little girl who he has a connection with. Along the way he is also looking for a escape. While not only avoiding the killer but his traps.
It’s a pretty intense film That stays inventive within the confines of it’s thin story. It has a non-stop sense of dread throughout. Having said that it also feels like a film inspired by or reminiscent of a well made SAW sequel. Which makes sense, Since the filmmakers are the same duo behind The SAW Sequels. Only This film has a more malicious killer.
The filmmakers also seem ready that if this film would have been a hit to turn it into a franchise. I’m a little glad it failed as it plays better and more haunting as a stand alone film. Leaving many questions unanswered instead of over-saturating the audience with answers. This film would have been a welcome addition in a horror anthology series. Because as it plays it is simple. So it makes the film feel like a excuse for long drawn out torture scenes. Making it more a true torture porn film. As the death scenes seem to give off a rush for the audience. Though unnecessary cruel.
All of the things the lead character must go through is a little unbelievable but that’s why it’s called a movie. I think what makes the film most gruesome is that the violence doesn’t seem horror movie fake but realistic. And the killer not some suspenseful ghoul or creative but is human being albeit a lucky genius as he seems to know where to leave traps and to be ready for anything or anyone not planned. So you have that thought that could this really happen? Which really takes the enjoyment and entertainment out of the film.
I like the fact that the film knows it’s genre well putting in some nudity in the middle of the carnage and stays true to the 80’s rule as to the fate of horny teenagers. Their punishment doled out so graphically. I am honestly shocked this got away with just a R Rating due to violence. It’s like a Clive Barker tale. Just as Violent without the supernatural element.
Now having said that I would still watch if the filmmakers made another film. As they do have talent both the director and writer. They manage to create a mood that milks it’s premise for all it’s worth.
This film is like living through your worst nightmare come to life. It’s worse then death because at least that will be quick. Instead with this film it’s torture causing a lot of pain but won’t let you die.
For all my complaints, The film is a guilty pleasure . It’s a good rental but would I ever watch the film again no.