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A group of delinquents are sent to clean the Blackwell Hotel. Little do they know reclusive psychopath Jacob Goodnight has holed away in the rotting hotel. When one of the teens is captured, those who remain - a group that includes the cop who put a bullet in Goodnight's head four years ago - band together to survive against the brutal killer.
Michael J. Pagan
I often write movie reviews for various groups. I don't usually review slasher movies. People who go to see slasher movies aren't looking for Academy Award material. They are looking for blood, guts, and brains, and some moments of real excitement. But since I know some actors in this movie, I decided to do a review. I hope no one gets angry at me because I write truthful reviews. I had been anxiously awaiting the release of this movie and couldn't wait for my pre-ordered copy to arrive, so I went to Blockbuster and got a rental copy. I enjoyed the movie, and enjoyed it more so because of who was in it. We know that in slasher movies almost everyone dies. If anyone escapes, it is only one or two. The question in my mind was "who's going to die, and how?" Well, I won't tell you. I will avoid that part because I wouldn't want to spoil anyone's enjoyment. I do want to make some criticisms of this movie, though, and let me get those out of the way first.
Buried Alive is basically a solid slasher movie but there are some real problems with the script that detracted. That's a shame. This movie could have been far better with some rearranging and tightening of the script. My first complaint is the dialog given to the blond sorority pledge (sorry I don't know her name). She was obviously a good actress and her delivery was good for the role she had to work with. They made the character unbelievably dumb. College students aren't dumb. Her role would have been much better as a temptress and a tramp. It would have heightened the coherence of the movie greatly. And it would have been in line with later segments of her role. The second great disappointment was the character given Steve Sandvoss who is one of my favorite actors. His character, Danny, vacillated back and forth between adult-like characteristics and juvenile ones, almost junior highish. Steve is a fine actor, and he delivered his role with skill, but he should have been given a better character who was more believable. His talent was wasted. He could have raised the level of this movie and made it even better. Danny would have been much better as an adult-like character with an "attitude." Unfortunately, actors do not get to write their own script. I hate to see good talent wasted, although in the end, he gives a splashing performance.
One other criticism of this movie - not enough blood, guts, and brains. Some of the special effects were good but most end up too tidy. Gruesome murders leave lots of blood and unnamable residue all over the place, and this movie should have had more. Now that I am through complaining, let me say some positive things.
Terrence Jay delivered a solid performance as did Tobin Bell, but the real surprise of the movie for me was newcomer Leah Rachel. I did not have high expectations for Leah because this is - as far as I know - her first movie. So I was prepared to forgive a lot. What a surprise! Leah had the best character in the movie and her performance was exceptional. Her performance raised the level of the movie and helped to save it. She and Steve could have been given a more torrid and scintillating affair since this movie does have some nudity and eye candy. That would have had people intently watching between murder scenes. Everyone likes eye candy and everyone likes sex and both these actors have plenty of it. So I was very pleasantly surprised and almost forgave the problems with the script.
I liked the ending as will most viewers. If you like horror/slasher movies, then you will have an enjoyable time and the movie is worth watching. I'm keeping my copy! Go rent or buy the DVD today.
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