Monday, October 15, 2007


This film was quite a long ways in coming, I must say. You probably don’t remember Eduardo Sanchez as the director of the surprise hit film The Blair Witch Project back in 1999. After that film, everyone was sitting around waiting to see what he would come up with next. Well, only seven short years later, he finally made his second movie, and if it’s not as innovative or amazing as his first, then it’s at least pretty damn good.

One thing that instantly stands out when the film starts, aside from how we’re all back in the damn woods again, is that it’s actually pretty professionally done, with proper movie cameras instead of the cast running around with handheld ones. It’s a nice improvement, I must say. I can’t really go too far into the story, as, like the bulk of horror movies, it’s really more a premise than an actual plot. Five men out in the woods got kidnapped by aliens, and after being experimented on (one of whom dies), they got released back into humanity. Now, several years later, the survivors have managed to capture one of the aliens, and are now trying to figure out what the hell to do with it. With one glaring exception, the film is actually pretty intelligent, with the characters trying to muddle through this crisis really quite well under such intense circumstances. The glaring exception, of course, is the hero’s girlfriend, who pretty much acts as a complete cipher, behaving in whatever way the plot requires of her. Seriously, she spends the first nine tenths of the film trying to get away from the rest of them, requiring them to tie her to a bed “for her own safety”, and then as soon as her man finally frees her and tells her to run, she’s of course doubling back to rescue him just in the nick of time. Retarded.

Outside of that, though, the film is quite good. It’s really quite dark, with a whole lot of graphic violence (offhandedly I’d be hard-pressed to name another movie with so many intestines on display as here), and a great deal of tension that doesn’t really ever relent until the end. Despite their rather hickish origins, the cast is also capable of asking a good number of rather important questions, like “How likely is it that setting a few bear traps in the woods is really going to catch some super advanced and strong alien being?”, or “Why don’t we just kill it and stash the body somewhere?” It’s rather amazing how few movies like this don’t think to actually ask such things.

Sanchez is apparently already in pre-production for his third film, due out some time next year, so we’ll thankfully not have to wait another seven years for another one. Still, if the lengthy wait times mean they all come out as well as his first two, I guess I can accept such a wait.

One final note: In an industry known for using L.A. as a central hub, it is a bit nice to see some fairly local boys who all drink Yuengling in a movie. God bless.

Raintg: *** ½

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