Directed by John Carpenter
Written by Bill Lancaster
Starring: Kurt Russell, A. Wilford Brimley, T. K. Carter, David Clennon, Keith David, Richard Dysart, Charles Hallahan, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat, Joel Polis, Thomas Waites
IMDb 8.1/10 Rotten Tomatoes 83% Freshness Metacritic 57/100
Believe it or not, this is the first time I have watched this movie. And judging by the numbers above, the reviews are obviously mixed. I don’t think this was a bad movie but, I don’t think it was one of the greats either. I think it’s about average. The acting is superior to a lot of horror films and they did snag some bigger names. Kurt Russell isn’t even really on par for what he normally does.
The plot is a good one but, it’s not 100% original. I mean, a species from outer space that comes to Earth and takes over the human race by inhabiting their bodies? It’s not like we haven’t had that movie plot before.
Nonetheless, I thought this movie was okay. I didn’t care for the fact that we started the movie with a guy shooting at a running dog from a helicopter. And then the fact that the thing had to get the dogs BEFORE it got to the humans. And it wasn’t so good that I kept my eyes glued to the screen.
But, this thing does seem to be very smart…and disgusting. Talk about some cool horror effects. Some of this stuff is just plain nasty.
The best of the horror, other than special effects, lies in the fact that we the audience and the characters in the movie all know that nobody is getting out alive. It’s just a matter of time as we watch them get picked off, one by one.
I AM trying to figure out why there is so much hype surrounding this movie when there are much better films that Carpenter has done. While I thought this film was alright, it left me feeling flat and kind of blah. I was just like, “eh”. Frankly, I expected a lot more from it.
Now, I know that I am probably not going to be in the good graces of some of you because of my opinion here but, that’s okay. I am sure we’ll reach common ground again on another film. But, I can’t in good conscience sit here and tell you that I thought this was an awesome film. It just didn’t reach that far for me. Still, I do think it’s worth watching once, though I probably won’t watch it again. Still, I have a profound respect for Carpenter and his work. You can’t have a huge blockbuster hit every single film of your career. So, I’m still a fan.
Written and Directed by Matthew Sconce
Starring: Stefanie Estes, Brittany Falardeau, Tim Parrish
IMDb 3.8/10 (equals 1.9/5 on my scale) Rotten Tomatoes NO DATA
Metacritic NO DATA
“ALTAR is the terrifying story of a group of former college classmates who get lost driving to a college reunion camp out in the Sierra Nevada mountains. After stopping for the night, they stumble onto something much darker. They must battle to escape the evil they unleashed to not only save their own lives but their souls as well.”—Matt Sconce, Writer/Director
I was able to watch this film over the weekend. As I told you before, I am an all-around horror fan. I also tend to be very forgiving of B-Rate and C-Rate horror and seem to approach it from a slightly different perspective than most regular movie watchers.
B-Rate horror is not a bad thing. All it means, to me, is that the filmmakers didn’t’ have a huge studio backing them financially. It doesn’t mean that it’s a crap film. At all.
I didn’t have many complaints about this film. Only one actually, and I’ll get to that in a minute. But, I really did think that they did a good job with this film, ESPECIALLY since it is a “found-footage” film and those tend to give me motion sickness. I have to be honest, because of the way it was filmed, I hated The Blair Witch Project. And the shaky camera was the ONLY reason I hated it. I would so much rather the movie be so grotesque that I puke rather than the filming being so all over the place that I get sick. For a found-footage film, they did an EXCELLENT job.
What I really thought they excelled at and what got the hairs on the back of my neck to tingle was that you 100% feel like you are watching a friend’s home movie from a trip they took. And the fact that it feels like a REAL home movie does give it an extra special eerie feel. The acting doesn’t seem fake or forced really. The dialogue seems to naturally flow and gives you a great feel for the characters themselves. My favorite character was Bo, the little brother with an affinity for filming life. But the rest of the cast did well too.
My only complaint is that I feel there could have been more blood, gore and death AND that it felt like I waited a long time during the film for any horror to happen. The props weren’t A-List studio quality but I did think the effects themselves weren’t bad.
Now, the way in which I approach B/C-Rate or indie films is that these are independent filmmakers that want to do what they love and entertain the audience at the same time. I did not expect the ending and thought that it was clear that Sconce put a lot of effort into this script. There are definitely small moments of comedy but, it’s not an action packed film. But, that didn’t matter to me.
I have to say, this movie has renewed my faith in found-footage films. Because of this film I now won’t completely discount a movie just because it’s found-footage. And that is no easy task to accomplish, I assure you. I’ve not watched a found-footage film since Blair Witch. For that, a resounding two thumbs up for Mr. Sconce.
Written/Directed by Michael Feifer
Starring: Kane Hodder, Adrienne Frantz, Michael Berryman, Priscilla Barnes, Shawn Hoffman
Rotten Tomatoes 21%
Metacritic NO DATA
Okay, so from the looks of the reviews, most people complained that this movie is not historically accurate. Well, it isn’t. Not completely anyway. The statement that it is based on true events should be “Inspired by true events”. I think that would be a more accurate description of the content of the movie. I always take “Based on true events” with a grain of salt. So often this means that at some point in the film, someone or something is loosely inspired by a real actual event. The main character is a compilation or the idea of a certain crime gave the weak foundation for a story that twists and embellishes details or invents new details altogether.
But just stop for a second. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre starts off with a voiceover telling us that this is based on real events and that it’s the most heinous and brutal happening in history. WE ALL KNOW THAT IS NOT ACCURATE. So I don’t understand why people are so in a twist about this movie being the same kind of film.
Ed Gein is just one of the inspirations for Leatherface. He’s also been the inspiration for other movie villains such as Norman Bates (Psycho) and Buffalo Bill (Silence of the Lambs). I would also venture to guess that his behavior, childhood and crimes were used as inspiration in a number of other movies although it was not explicitly stated. I mean, here you have a guy that is emasculated by his mother and abused, father and brother both die, mother has had strokes and needs help to survive (though she’s not grateful for it). He’s a quiet man, slender and meek looking. He stays to himself on his farm. He’s devastated by the loss of his mother. It’s possible he killed his brother while working in fields, a whole Cain and Abel kind of thing. He’s got furniture made from human body parts and bones, a suit made of a woman’s skin, possible cannibalism, torturous and demented behaviors…it just goes on and on. With that kind of resume, you could get a variety of killers for scripts out of that.
Kane Hodder plays Gein in this film. I’m a fan of Hodder’s so I have nothing bad to say about his acting in this film. And my complaint, though involving Hodder, is NOT his fault. I feel like the reason the filmmakers got Hodder for this film is because, well, he’s Jason Voorhees. I mean, iconic slasher villain, yeah? But, the thing is, that no matter how you want to embellish the facts of the case, no matter what you want to add to make it seem more horrifying, no matter what twists and turns you add for impact…there is no way to get around the fact that Ed Gein was a small, slender, meek and unassuming guy. He didn’t look like a big, muscular, dangerous kind of guy. He looked like a creepy guy, sure. But he also looked like a rural man, a farmer, a blue collar guy. He was quiet. He didn’t like to talk to people. He didn’t like to be around people. He wasn’t outwardly aggressive. He was lost in a world he created for himself, a world where his mother was still with him and nobody else really mattered. Kane Hodder is a big guy. Hodder is 6’4”. Ed Gein was only 5’7”. That’s a nine-inch difference. Like no one is going to notice that. And Hodder weighs 231 lbs. while Gein didn’t even hit 200 lbs. I mean, it’s like night and day. And personally, I think Gein’s stature made his crimes seem more horrific.
So, that’s my complaint about how Gein is portrayed. Again, I think Hodder did a good job but, he’s built all wrong for the part.
My next issue with this film is the Deputy. Bobby Mason (Shawn Hoffman). This guy is one of the worst actors to be a cop. I mean, seriously? We watch this man for an hour and a half and he is never happy, except when he’s making out with his girlfriend (yeah, I’m just as shocked as the rest of you, insert eye roll here). Not only is he all wrong for the part of a cop, we get two, count them, two, moments where he gets this big emotionally charged speech going and we are supposed to believe that he’s some A-List actor with an incredible performance range. I’m not buying it. And his whole speech is sooooo pointless. The whole scene is pointless. If they wanted to make a big deal out of Bobby seeing his mother as one of Gein’s victims, they could have used less for more impact. But this guy, not very skilled at acting. And the way he held a gun, it’s like he’s never seen an actor play a cop in a movie EVER. I mean, even kids know how they do it on TV. This was truly, for me, the most frustrating part of the film.
I still think that the complaint of the story not being very accurate is a little harsh. If these people complaining actually looked up Ed Gein they would realize that, for the most part, the skeleton core of the film is fairly accurate. Gein really did kill the owners of the hardware store and tavern in town and the hardware store owner’s son WAS in fact a deputy in Plainfield. Gein DID rob graves of the corpses and he DID have furniture made out of bones and skin. And yes, he DID have the suit of skin from one of his victims.
I have to say Kane Hodder makes the film and is truly the real reason for watching. It was a little slow moving and I had hoped for more gore but, for what it was, it was an alright movie.
Written and Directed by Adam Green
Starring: Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, Mercedes McNab, Tony Todd, Joel Moore, Tamara Feldman, Deon Richmond, Parry Shen, Joleigh Fioreavanti, Joel Murray
Rotten Tomatoes 51%
Cast of Characters:
The basic story is this:
We start with Sampson and Ainsley. Sampson is in his boat with his son, waiting for an alligator to appear. Ainsley is whining about being out in the dark, and cold, and that he needs to pee. Soon, they are both dead.
Ben is down because he’s been dumped. His friends, fueled on beer and testosterone, take him to Mardis Gras in Louisiana to get his mind of of things by surrounding him with drunk topless chicks and lots of beer and beads. Ben isn’t really digging all of this so, he decides to go off by himself to do a Haunted Swamp Tour. His good friend Marcus decides to abandon the party scene and go with him, although he constantly tells Ben how much the whole idea sucks and is boring.
They go to where friends said they went the previous year but, Reverend Zombie explains he’s not doing tours anymore. So, he sends them to another place. There they find Shawn. A ridiculous tour guide that knows absolutely nothing about anything, it’s incredible he can even spell his name to cash paychecks. However, Shawn has allowed Doug Shapiro to film scenes of Bayou Beavers in his shop and on his tour bus and boat. (I wonder how Shapiro accomplished that…he’s so sleazy I am SURE he didn’t have a lot to pay Shawn of with.)
Ben and Marcus get on the tour bus. So do Misty and Jenna (I’m guessing they’re the “beavers”), and Doug. Already on the bus are Marybeth, sitting quietly by herself and the Permatteos, anxiously awaiting the tour. Ben sits next to Marybeth, Marcus next to Jenna. While Marcus thinks about making a move on Jenna, Ben nervously tries to make small talk with Marybeth, who isn’t very talkative…or pleasant. And they make their way to the swamp.
While on the boat tour, Shawn incorrectly tells a story about Victor Crowley. Marybeth corrects him. He was a deformed boy whose father kept him locked in the house to avoid ridicule. One day, kids came around and set fire to the house. Victor was inside. While trying to bust down the door with a hatchet Victor’s father struck Victor in the head. Victor was leaning against the door, unbeknownst to his father. Now, Victor roams the woods and the swamp looking for his father, killing whoever he comes across.
Shawn, the inexperienced boater that he is, gets the little tour boat high-centered and stuck on a rock. They all decide to get to shore where they spend the rest of the film running for their lives from Victor. No, not all of them survive.
This film was made in the classic slasher film style. There’s a lot of blood, great gore and some witty banter thrown back and forth. I actually really enjoyed this film. It definitely reminded me of the 80s slashers we’ve come to know and love. I will say I was a little dejected to see Robert Englund snuffed out so early. But, Kane Hodder does a great job as Victory Crowley. I also like that they didn’t waste a whole lot of time setting up the story. Real slasher films don’t need a lot of set up. All we need is a group of people who unwittingly walk into a murderous nightmare. Once we have that, it’s all smooth sailing as we just sit back and watch the gore unfold.
As I was watching the movie, I knew I recognized Misty from somewhere. She was actually the little stuck up blonde girl in the Addams Family Values. Joel Murray, Shapiro, is one of Bill Murray’s brothers. We all know who Kane Hodder is. But, if you’ve been living under a rock for the last thirty years or so, he’s known for playing Jason Voorhees in four of the Friday the 13thmovies. He has also said that his favorite kill scene that he’s done is in this film…where he tears a woman’s face in half. It really is a great scene.
Though called “campy” by Rotten Tomatoes (shocker), I think the sarcasm is just right, not over-the-top. We all know Rotten Tomatoes critics don’t seem to like REAL horror. However, this film DID get just slightly over a 50% rating and for them on Horror, that’s pretty good.
Okay, so if you get grossed out easy, don’t watch this. If bare breasts bother you, don’t watch this. If you don’t like sequel setups, don’t watch this. If you hate the woman being the heroine and protagonist, don’t watch this.
BUT, if you like watching chicks with guns take charge and kick a lot of ass, outsmart a killer and blood and gore PLUS the chance of a sequel, then this film is for you. You’re sure to get some laughs and some super bloody scenes. Hope you enjoy!!!
Directed by Stephen Michael Giglio
Written and Produced by Stephen Michael Giglio and Adam Romanchik
Starring: Andrew Hunsicker, Amanda K. Morales, Mike Sutton, Andrea Helfrich, Gina Destra
COMING SEPTEMBER 2018
This time from Breaking Glass Pictures we get a deadly story of regret, birthdays and invisible pathogens.
Dana is a thirty-year-old woman struggling with her birthday, her relationship and her father. She and her father have been estranged for quite some time. The plan is for him to come to her birthday party to try to talk and make amends. But, that’s going to be difficult.
While prepping for the party, one of her friends finds a secret hidden room in her apartment building. When she goes to investigate she unleashes a deadly pathogen that she soon carries with her inside her body everywhere she goes.
Who will get out alive? Who will fall to the death that awaits? Is there any way to stop the spread of such a horrible fate?
You’ll have to find out for yourself.
I enjoyed this film. It’s a short one. It’s only about an hour and ten minutes, give or take. Yet, I found it to be the perfect length for such a story. If this had been a feature length film, they would have had to use some filler somewhere and it probably would have been a love story…yuck!!! (Why do people try to ruin a perfectly good gore movie or war movie with a love story???) Anyways, the love story aspect here is very minimal in the fact that it consists of knowing that our main character is in a relationship. That’s about it. So, no mushy gushy stuff. Yay Horror!!!
I thought the actors did pretty well in this movie. The only complaint about the acting, and it’s a small one, is that when they are “in pain” it wasn’t quite as convincing. I guess I feel they could have tried to act more like they were in agony or something. I don’t know. The portrayal of the misery just doesn’t fit the level of illness that we were seeing. But, other than that, I really liked this.
I’m always so interested in the stories of deadly pathogens and invisible killers that attack our bodies. The idea of a deadly disease that you can’t see and is airborne…that’s some scary stuff. I will tell you that the vomit in this movie is icky. It reminded me of milk mixed with cottage cheese. Seeing that come out of mouths can quite possibly make a stomach turn. So good going filmmakers!
I don’t think I could call this completely B-rate although it’s not quite top tier horror. Still most definitely worth watching. I will admit that the ending left me slightly confused, thinking I maybe missed something but, I went back and watched and I didn’t miss anything. Maybe some of you will be able to explain it to me one you’ve seen it. I have a theory but, I don’t want to spoil anything just yet.
Hope you all get to check this out!!
Directed by Steven R. Monroe
Written by Thomas H. Fenton and Neil Elman
Starring: Jemma Dallender
This is DEFINITELY not a movie for the faint of heart. This is the sequel to the remake of I Spit on Your Grave (2010). The original I Spit on Your Grave is from 1978. Both the original and the remake are pretty brutal and this one is no exception.
A young aspiring model, Katie, who is working as a waitress in New York responds to an ad for free photography. When she gets there the photographer, Ivan, and his assistants (and brothers), Georgy and Nicky, try to talk her into a topless shoot which she refuses and leaves, without her photos.
Later, Georgy shows up at her apartment wanting to give her the photos and apologize for the whole incident. He gives her a flash drive with the photos on it and leaves. But later that night Katie wakes to find Georgy filming her. (Apparently he developed a crush rather quickly.) When Katie sees him she shocks him with a stun gun. Georgy quickly recovers and catches up with her as she tries to flee. He binds and gags her, preparing for what’s going to happen next. He is interrupted by Katie’s neighbor and ends up killing the guy. He then rapes and brutalizes her only to wind up so panicked he needs to call his brothers for help. They come to his aid, cleaning the crime scene of all evidence and then dosing Katie heavily with Ketamine, a drug that causes her to become unconscious.
This poor violated girl then wakes up in a basement handcuffed to a metal pole. These guys do nasty and vile things to her in the midst of beating her up. They also try to keep her drugged by giving her more Ketamine but she makes herself throw up the second dose. (Smart girl.) Now that she is in more control of her faculties she pretends to be drugged to get the upper hand and try to escape. And it works.
She escapes and finds herself on the streets of Bulgaria. She has no idea how she got there of course, a huge side effect of Ketamine. She is soon picked up by the police and when they turn her over to a “Rape Counselor” who just happens to be Ivan, Georgy and Nicky’s mother masquerading as someone to help Katie. Instead, she takes her back to the guys and to the basement, where her torture and violation becomes more intense.
During this time, they also let a friend of the family violate her is unspeakable ways. After they feel like she is no good to them anymore, they have beaten and raped her enough, they put her in a foot locker type box and bury her alive in the basement floor. Little do they know that the floor is not strong enough to hold the new weight in the broken soil and collapses into the sewer.
Katie crawls free and is rescued by a Priest after she is caught stealing from the church. Seeing that she is obviously a victim of horrible abuse he gives her clothes, food and a Bible. She soon decides to take revenge on the men that so violently hurt her and leaves the Bible open to a passage declaring “vengeance is mine” for the Priest to read and know where she went.
And the real terror begins.
Katie soon stalks her attackers and kills them in some fairly creative ways. Georgy gets strung up by his limbs and viciously sliced on various parts of his body. Then she adds some sewer contents (yuck) to the open wounds to speed up infection and of course, suffering.
The family friend that violated her, she finds him at church and lures him away. This is probably the most creative ways Katie chooses to kill someone. She takes her cues from his abusive behavior towards her and gives it back to him one hundred fold. This ends up including electric shocks and a plumbers pipe snake. (I’ll leave it at that.)
Katie also gets to exact her revenge on Ivan and Nicky. Nicky loses his edge at a nightclub where Katie is able to lace his drink with ecstasy. When it starts to kick in, he gets sick and has to run to the bathroom where she drowns him in a toilet full of urine and feces. (Another yuck moment.) Ivan, Katie ties him to a table and puts his nuts in a vice and crushes them. (A quick pause while the guys stop wincing.)
… … …
And we’re back. (Deep breaths gentlemen, that’s what they tell women in pain, deep breaths.)
Now, the head of the family, the mother, Ana, is also captured and held in the sewer. But, Katie goes a little more psychological with the mama. She puts her in a box very similar to the one Katie was buried in and locks her in there. Katie opens the box only to let Ana see her torturing her precious baby, Georgy and her first born, Ivan.
Now, this whole time Katie has been hunting there has been a cop looking for her. He finally finds her as she is torturing Ivan and Ana. After a brief scuffle, Ivan is dead, Ana is out of the box and arrested and Katie…Katie goes free and heads to the U.S. Embassy to go home.
As graphic as they tend to be, I really like the I Spit on Your Grave movies. I’ve said before I love revenge films. So, often the justice we get from the system is either inadequate or unsatisfying. This takes it to a whole new level. This film takes our female lead and turns her from a soft, blubbering victim into a maniacal revenge killer capable of things beyond normal imagination.
One of the greatest things about many horror films is that the genre tends to take the socially acceptable idea of the helpless, dainty female and whip it around into something that can shake you at your core. Yet, we still not only feel this helpless wonders but, we start cheering her on as she delves deeper into her own world of sadistic vengeful fun.
I will say that this movie is definitely not for the faint of heart. Neither is the first one, original or remake. These films are very graphic in practically every nature, from the sexual violence to the masochistic ploys of revenge. The language is heavy, the violence is heavy and the blood is abundant. A good movie for all revenge lovers. Just be prepared for what you’re getting into.
Directed by Andrew Fleming
Written by Andrew Fleming and Peter Filardi
Starring: Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True
Ahhh, a blast from the past. This film is always a hit with chicks. Especially teenagers. Not that that is a bad thing. Just kind of lets you know what you are getting into.
Sarah is a teenage girl that moves to a new town and starts a new school. Being the new kid is always rough. But she soon becomes friends with three other girls, all of whom are outcasts for various reasons, including the fact that it’s rumored they are witches.
Sarah and these three girls, Nancy, Bonnie and Rachelle, soon form a coven and start REALLY delving into the world of witchcraft. They eventually cast spells on various people in their lives in order to make things the way they think they want them to be. Sarah makes a guy named Chris fall in love with her but, he falls way too hard and is practically obsessed with her. Rachelle gets revenge on a girl at school who is exceptionally cruel to her by making her hair fall out to the point where she has to wear a hat and wig every day. Nancy makes it to where her stepfather has a heart attack and dies and she and her mom get his life insurance policy, finally allowing them the life they’ve always wanted. And Bonnie…Bonnie gets rid of her burn scars that have plagued her for the majority of her life, making her feel like the beautiful swan instead of the ugly duckling, monster or freak.
As their new lives start to spiral out of control and Nancy starts to go overboard with her newfound power, Nancy and Sarah start to butt heads. Eventually, the three girls turn against Sarah and begin to use magic on her. Although they’ve been warned by the woman who owns the store where they buy their magic supplies that whatever they send out, they get back three-fold, the girls are in too deep with their new world that they have manipulated.
Sarah tries to keep Chris at bay but, he is so head over heels in love with her that he just can’t leave her be. He finally convinces her to go out on a dinner date. When he picks her up he takes her to some cliff area and tries to make a few moves on her. She rebuffs him and he gets a little insistent, so she gets out of the car. He gets out after her and it spooks her, so she starts to run. Chris chases her and catches up to her as she stumbles trying to get up the rocky hill. He gets on top of her and pins her down as he tries to undo his pants to have sex with her. She knees him and runs away, leaving him very distressed and seemingly upset and frustrated.
Sarah goes to her friends for help. Nancy, who has already had bad experiences with Chris, gets very upset and leaves to seek revenge. She finds Chris at a house party, tricks him with magic and ends up killing him.
Now Sarah really wants nothing to do with these girls. And they are pissed. Eventually, after some torment, they finally confront her. It becomes a battle of wills, power and magic between Sarah and Nancy. Eventually, Sarah wins and Nancy ends up in a mental hospital. And now that the four of them are no longer a group, Rachelle and Bonnie have lost their powers…but, Sarah hasn’t. She’s stronger than ever and in complete control. And she warns the girls about their behavior, telling them they don’t want to end up like Nancy.
I’ve always liked this movie. I think it’s a good witchy movie without being cheesy. The film has death, magic, humor and at one point, lots and lots of bugs. All kinds of bugs. And they are everywhere. Like in Creepshow’s “They’re Creeping Up On You”. It’s disgusting.
This was before Neve Campbell got her big role in Scream. The movie isn’t bad and is one that can be watched over and over again. Fairuza Balk (Nancy) is pretty good in this film. She has a creepy edge; she really always has. Robin Tunney, who plays Sarah, isn’t bad but, she’s got a couple of moments where, if I were her, I wouldn’t be too proud. She has a scene where the girls are after her and she’s running down a dark street trying to look all scared but, seriously people, nobody looks like that when they run…not naturally anyways. It’s truly the epitome of the big-breasted airhead running around looking ridiculous. Other than that, she’s alright.
This isn’t a movie that has a lot of blood and gore but it does have the definite horror aspect that we tend to look for. All in all, a good film.
Directed by Jeff Beesly
Written by Richard Dooling (screenplay), Stephen King (short story)
Starring: Christian Slater, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Wes Bentley
Today we have a movie adaptation of Stephen King’s short story Dolan’s Cadillac. This short story can be found in Nightmares and Dreamscapes, which is a collection of short stories from King.
They always say “Revenge is a dish best served cold”. We see first-hand in this film what one husband is willing to go through, physically, mentally, emotionally, in order to get his own justice for his wife’s death…well, murder.
Meet Tom and Elizabeth Robinson. Two people very much in love and enjoying their lives. They are both teachers and enjoy kids. In fact, they have been trying to get pregnant themselves.
While Elizabeth is out for a horse ride one day after work she witnesses the murder of a poor girl who is the apparent victim of human trafficking. This victim is gunned down while running for her life from a moving truck (full of young women) that has been driven over the Mexico border to be delivered to a Mr. Dolan. Dolan is quite “the man”. He has all kinds of money and is a bad enough guy that he has a full-time bodyguard AND driver for his custom Cadillac SUV that he goes everywhere in. (Apparently, he’s made a few REAL enemies in his lifetime thus far.) While Elizabeth sees all of this happen she tries to call for help on her cell phone and drops it while fleeing on her horse, who was startled by the gunshots. Unfortunately, Dolan’s driver finds her cell and keeps it.
Elizabeth is convinced she must go to the police. While they are investigating, she is tracked down by Dolan’s people. She and her husband go into protective custody where they are under constant police surveillance and are living out of a hotel room. They are still trying to get pregnant and when she wakes in the middle of the night puking, she thinks that it’s finally happened. She goes to take a pregnancy test (which this gal should have stock in, she uses enough of them) but, the box is empty. She quickly gets dressed and hurries out the room to their car. Tom wakes and hurries after her only to get out the front door of the hotel just in time to watch the car blow up and she starts it. Of course, she dies.
The rest of the movie is about Robinson and what he does to get revenge on Dolan for killing his wife. I mean, if this guy wasn’t a human trafficker she wouldn’t have seen anything and Dolan wouldn’t have had her killed and he wouldn’t be a widower now. So basically, according to Robinson, Dolan is the reason for all the horror in his life and since the justice system not only moves at a snail’s pace but also isn’t doing much in the way of arresting Dolan, Tom decides he’ll take matters into his own hands.
What does he do? Oh man. Well, first he loses himself in an alcohol and drug induced haze. (Good times, I guess…). He buys a gun, practices shooting and formulates a plan to execute Dolan himself. This plan gets foiled by an unforeseen circumstance and Robinson must rethink his strategy.
He focuses on the fact that Dolan is a man of unbreakable habit. Certain things he does, he does the same time in the same way in the same place every day or every trip or whatever the case may be. Robinson follows Dolan to learn his routines. They even have an exchange in a men’s bathroom where Dolan tells Robinson to stop following him and beats Robinson up.
Robinson finally derives a plan to trap Dolan in the desert during one of his many drives across the barren wasteland. His plan works and he DOES trap Dolan. And this is where his real revenge begins.
Now, as much as I would like to explain the details of his plan, I’m not going to. You really should check it out for yourself.
I loved this movie. I thought it was a great adaptation of the short story, which I have read and even own. I love revenge stories. And this movie left me feeling happy and satisfied. A friend brought up what I thought to be a really good point though. While the story was something to be enjoyed (and I loved it in book form too), this tale may have been a little better suited for something like what they did with Creepshow or Cat’s Eye where it was a compilation of short stories. I do think they drag out the introductions and the beginning a little but, the book was like that too. It took a little bit to get to the nitty gritty. Also, keep in mind that this movie is only an hour and a half long so it’s not some sort of epic film adventure. And if they hadn’t spent so much time on the first half of the movie, it would be more like 45-55 minutes probably.
Still, Christian Slater is great in this film and Wes Bentley (who I always think of as the weird kid from American Beauty) does a good job in his part. The chick…eh…she’s alright. I remember her as one of Charlie’s girlfriends on Two and a Half Men. And while the story is really about her and avenging her death, we could have almost had the movie without her. Now, it’s been a long time since I’ve read the story itself however, if I remember right, it was all from Robinson’s point of view, we didn’t have the wife actually present in the story.
I really enjoyed watching everything play out as the plan came to fruition. This was something that you really feel like you want to get behind the vigilante and see it all through with him. Dolan’s character is loathsome and still can make you laugh. I do wonder if this is a film for all horror lovers. I don’t think it is. I think this is more for die-hard King fans or suspense/thriller lovers. Or fans of revenge. This isn’t going to be something for the blood and gore fans. So just keep that in mind.