EDIT: For those of you who do not care for a rehash or look at all the letters and go, screw that and hit “Back”, I decided to bold the important paragraph which kinda says why I wrote all this shit.
Missed this originally and all the discussion about it probably for its resemblance to other mediocre flicks and the simple fact that the name did not grab me. I just watched this on TiVO sitting in my living room. I dunno if I was just ready for a decent horror flick or what, but I was completely sucked in for the entire thing. In retrospect, most everyone’s complaints in the original thread are valid, but as a package, the whole thing worked spectacularly for me. The torture flicks probably freak me out more, but I am so not entertained that I cannot watch them.
Includes spoilers, but just enough to get my point across:
This one was certainly more of the creepy horror variety and the setting helped. The seclusion and claustrophobia set the stage over a relatively extended period (as horror flicks go) when in a routine horror movie by that time I would have been rooting for someone to be offed. I found the scenes leading up to the cave in built tension well. Then the hopelessness and desperation of the others as they realized they were not in the cave they had planned sunk in to me. Not sure how far in, but the shit did not start going down until the leg break and then we see a glimpse of the underground dwellers. I was way passed feeling any sense of time elapsing by that point.
Every horror movie has the requisite telegraphed ‘jumps’ as this one did, but it was the seemingly normal shots that turned freaky that I liked. From the beginning with the husband wife, and child in the car, you sorta say, hey, isn’t he veering into the other lane a bit and find yourself simultaneously wondering when we get to find out he was screwing Juno and then whap. They panned back and you see two poles rather than one.
That and some of the other one-on-one scenes between characters were terribly gripping. Most of which involved some of horrible decision or consequence. Another thing was the gradual ramping up of the violence. It started with nothing and as circumstances changed the characters evolved and began to take more drastic measures. You could come to the conclusion that the transformations of a couple of them were too much, too fast, but based on the pacing and events taking place, I loved it. All of this led up to the final scene in which it was non-stop carnage and then ended with the exclamation point.
I really believe that your mood and state of mind have a large influence on how open you are when watching a film and how much you beat it to death analyzing while watching or, OTOH, determine to immerse yourself in it. I must have been wide the fuck open because it was one of the best creepy flicks I have seen in a long while. Especially since many of you previously stated that it needed to be watched with a group and it was just little ol’ me after putting the 2 kiddies in bed. Again, I can see where you can get hung up on cliches and the other negatives that were present, but, if done right, those same heavily borrowed elements can still make for a gripping film.
I don’t usually chat this much about movies as you guys do a great job and I end up echoing someone else’s thoughts. Also, there are not many films anymore that really surprise me as this one did. So, there ya’ go.