Survivors of a feral flesh-eating clan are chowing their way through the locals. Amy Halbard and Claire Carey strive to survive their abduction by the cannibals and save their children. A ... See full summary »
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Six tourists hire an extreme tour guide who takes them to the abandoned city Pripyat, the former home to the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. During their exploration, they soon discover they are not alone.
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Survivors of a feral flesh-eating clan are chowing their way through the locals. Amy Halbard and Claire Carey strive to survive their abduction by the cannibals and save their children. A subplot involving Claire's despicable husband, Steven, gives an opportunity to cleverly compare predatory civilized folk to the appetite-driven primitives. Written by
I was going to say that this film was lazy and incompetent independent film-making at its worst. I keep trying to make this point; low budgets needn't matter, and we don't mind the cheap special effects and the limited sets if the film is made with passion and conviction. It doesn't cost anything to get the plot right; just imagination and attention to detail. But that's exactly what this film seems to lack.
An update of the Scottish Sawney Beane legend and transplanting to Maine and the Canadian coast, it has some promising ideas and a couple of effective sequences, but it fails to establish them or develop them properly. What's with the lighthouse keeper? We get a glimpse of a newspaper clipping while the opening credits roll, and one of the characters makes a brief reference during the film, but this history deserved telling properly, even if only narrated by one of the characters, and could have added real mythic power to the plot. But it appears the film-makers just couldn't be bothered.
And then 76 minutes later, barely achieving the minimum respectable length for a feature film, it comes to an abrupt end, with several characters and plot lines unresolved. Please no, don't tell me you're leaving the door open for a sequel. (Adopt appropriate gravelly voice: Offspring 2 the new generation!) In between, there's a load of confused stumbling around in night-time woods or on stretches of beach that look nothing like the earlier panoramic daytime shots we had of the coastline.
I was going to say all this, but then I glanced up at the technical information in this IMDb entry. 100 minutes, it says. A hundred! But my UK rented copy was only 76 minutes; both the sleeve and the DVD timer confirm it. That's a quarter of the film gone! No wonder the plot seems sketchy, and you can't follow what's happening.
It is entirely incomprehensible. It carries a UK 18 certificate, which is the most serious apart from the 18Rs that can only be bought from licensed sex shops, and I don't imagine they have anything in them that can't be seen for free on the internet. What on earth can the UK censors have found that required 24 minutes of cuts? If it really was originally 100 mins I frankly don't see what the point of releasing the film like this is. At the very least, this review stands as a warning to UK viewers; check the length. If it's the 76 minute version I saw, I'm certainly not recommending it.
Edit: Barely a couple of weeks after posting this, I read in my newspaper that "The Serbian Film" had received between four and five minutes of cuts at the hands of the UK censor, and that this made it the most cut UK film for sixteen years. If that's so, then I was wrong to blame the cut from 100 to 76 minutes on the censor. This makes it all the more baffling. Why would you voluntarily cut your own film to such a skimpy dog's dinner? In any case, it doesn't change my recommendation (or lack of it): just the attribution of blame.
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