Based on actual accounts, The Untold is the story of Harlan Knowles, billionaire and President of Bio-Comp Industries who heads up a team of experts in a quest to locate a company plane that disappeared over the remote forests of the Pacific Northwest. Knowles is obsessed with finding the plane and rescuing his daughter, who was one of its passengers. The assembled team includes local guide Clayton Tyne, renowned wilderness expert and author Winston Burg and the beautiful Marla Lawson. Soon, the team begins to suspect that Knowles' main objective is actually to recover the prototype of a DNA testing machine called the Huxley Project, which his company has spent years and millions of dollars developing. After finding the plane and its crew torn to shreds, the group tries to piece together clues about what could be responsible for the carnage. With the help of the Huxley prototype they discover they are facing a menace whose very existence is one of the world's greatest mysteries and ... Written by
Flopped shot: near the end of the film, when Harlan goes back alone, the first time he fires into the air, it's left-handed, with a left-handed bolt-action rifle. Subsequently, the rifle is right-handed and Harlan is right-handed. See more »
If Ed Wood ripped off The Blair Witch Project and Predator
A plane carrying employees of a large biotech firm--including the CEO's daughter--goes down in thick forest in the Pacific Northwest. When the search and rescue mission is called off, the CEO, Harlan Knowles (Lance Henriksen), puts together a small ragtag group to execute their own search and rescue mission. But just what is Knowles searching for and trying to rescue, and just what is following and watching them in the woods?
Oy, what a mess this film was! It was a shame, because for one, it stars Lance Henriksen, who is one of my favorite modern genre actors, and two, it could have easily been a decent film. It suffers from two major flaws, and they're probably both writer/director Jonas Quastel's fault--this film (which I'll be calling by its aka of Sasquatch) has just about the worst editing I've ever seen next to Alone in the Dark (2005), and Quastel's constant advice for the cast appears to have been, "Okay, let's try that again, but this time I want everyone to talk on top of each other, improvise non-sequiturs and generally try to be as annoying as possible".
The potential was there. Despite the rip-off aspects (any material related to the plane crash was obviously trying to crib The Blair Witch Project (1999) and any material related to the titular monster was cribbing Predator (1987)), Ed Wood-like exposition and ridiculous dialogue, the plot had promise and potential for subtler and far less saccharine subtexts. The monster costume, once we actually get to see it, was more than sufficient for my tastes. The mixture of character types trudging through the woods could have been great if Quastel and fellow writer Chris Lanning would have turned down the stereotype notch from 11 to at least 5 and spent more time exploring their relationships. The monster's "lair" had some nice production design, specifically the corpse decorations ala a more primitive Jeepers Creepers (2001). If it had been edited well, there were some scenes with decent dialogue that could have easily been effective.
But the most frightening thing about Sasquatch is the number of missteps made: For some reason, Quastel thinks it's a good idea to chop up dialogue scenes that occur within minutes of each other in real time so that instead we see a few lines of scene A, then a few lines of scene B, then back to A, back to B, and so on.
For some reason, he thinks it's a good idea to use frequently use black screens in between snippets of dialogue, whether we need the idea of an unspecified amount of time passing between irrelevant comments or whether the irrelevant comments seem to be occurring one after the other in time anyway.
For some reason, he doesn't care whether scenes were shot during the morning, afternoon, middle of the night, etc. He just cuts to them at random. For that matter, the scenes we're shown appear to be selected at random. Important events either never or barely appear, and we're stuck with far too many pointless scenes.
For some reason, he left a scene about cave art in the film when it either needs more exposition to justify getting there, or it needs to just be cut out, because it's not that important (the monster's intelligence and "humanity" could have easily been shown in another way).
For some reason, there is a whole character--Mary Mancini--left in the script even though she's superfluous.
For some reason we suddenly go to a extremely soft-core porno scene, even though the motif is never repeated again.
For some reason, characters keep calling Harlan Knowles "Mr. H", like they're stereotypes of Asian domestics.
For some reason, Quastel insists on using the "Blurry Cam" and "Distorto-Cam" for the monster attack scenes, even though the costume doesn't look that bad, and it would have been much more effective to put in some fog, a subtle filter, or anything else other than bad cinematography.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
I really wanted to like this film better than I didI'm a Henriksen fan, I'm intrigued by the subject, I loved the setting, I love hiking and this is basically a hiking film on one level--but I just couldn't. Every time I thought it was "going to be better from this point until the end", Quastel made some other awful move. In the end, my score was a 3 out of 10.
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