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This is one where I definitely disagree with a number of the 'external' reviewers...
Usually, I depend heavily on the 'external reviews' here on IMDb; no disrespect for the other reviewers here like me of course, but I have my favourites who I rely on for my impressions of a film and whether I think I will like it.
Well, as my title suggests, I VERY much disagree with some of my 'regulars', that is for sure! Both at DVD Verdict and Dread Central they praise this film as a great return to Italian Horror. I suppose... However, perhaps it's just a matter of 'taste' in this case (no pun intended - I guess you'll hafta actually see the film to get it) Sure, there is a LOT of old fashioned gore, etc. And that can be okay IF, and I do bloody well mean ***IF*** at least it is done well. But, sadly, in this case I am sorry, but it was not. Now maybe the level of competence is expected to be lower with this kind of movie, but still, there are TONS of great low-budget Horror films that may even be somewhat stupid, BUT there is a certain charm or retro feel to them or SOMETHING for Goodness sake that makes them worthwhile. Not this one...
Primarily I just couldn't bleed'n STAND the monotonous and EXTREMELY super-extended padding in this thing. GEEZ, so he / she / whatever is running through the woods... Okay... I get it... Can we PLEASE not spend 20 frigg'n minutes watching them running and screaming, and running and screaming, and then running and screaming some more...???! PLEASE...! Literally about 20% of the dang film is made up of all these SUPER-extended reaction shots (hold on her face... Okay, now hold on his face. Okay, now go back to her face... GEEZ, just shoot me already, or hang me, I REALLY do not care at this point!) I GUESS, MAYBE, if it had just been tightened up a bit and moved along with SOME concept of pacing it probably would indeed have been a fun and enjoyable little Horror film. Man, as it was it came in at what, about 85 minutes WITH credits. I mean EVERY dang scene was dragged out, mostly with awful repetitive yelling and 'acting' I mean HOW MANY bloody times does one tough guy hafta tell his other friend to 'Shut up!' And also how many, MANY times does that same friend say 'Hey, we really should go back; we shouldn't do this, etc., etc., etc... It's just that when you add all this stuff up it ends up being HALF the damn film, really! Just a LOT, and I do mean a HELL of a lot of time wasted, totally destroying whatever possible suspense or interest that may have been generated .
I WILL say though that there were a few things about this movie that I did like. First, I REALLY liked the opening song; I mean it sounded RIGHT out of TWIN PEAKS, honestly! So, I'm thinking 'Great! This is gonna be some subtle, moody, atmospheric film a la David Lynch. WRONG... BUT, I will say though that towards the very beginning there were indeed a few shots / scenes that did remind me of Lynch's use of long, quiet shots that gave it a nice, odd feel. And also, I really noticed a very deliberate effort to copy Argento's lighting in 'INFERNO' You see blues and reds EVERYWHERE! That looked kinda neat. But, all in all whatever slight patches of style or mood that MIGHT have been there, they were TOTALLY obliterated by completely inept narrative and pacing and WAAAAAAAAAY drawn out scenes. If he could have just edited all that completely useless crap out of there and maybe brought the film in at even 70 minutes, that might have done the trick.
Now again, if this kind of film falls into the category sort of like Porn where you really aren't exactly watching it for the 'tight' direction (cough...) etc., well then, fine... Maybe this just isn't my kind of movie. But, at least as I imagine it being directed, I THINK that you really could have snipped out all the stupid stuff and just gotten to all the gore, etc., THEN you just might have had a much, MUCH more effective and emotionally striking film. Instead ALL the tension that is actually built up is completely wasted and drained away by about 20% of the footage that just shouldn't be there.
YES, there is a definite and even somewhat effective homage to Argento and Classic Italian Horror in general; but, if you are gonna do that type of thing, PLEASE do not completely ruin it by making an awful film around it...
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