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No One Lives is the type of movie that starts as many others and
suddenly becomes something unexpected.
It is difficult to tell what happens without spoiling; but as in others Ryûhei Kitamura movies, there is no Good vs Evil but Evil vs Evil. If you never see any of his movies; get VERSUS before looking at this one.
Performances varies; Luke Evans is perfect; totally charismatic and captivating. Derek Magyar is terrifying as a psycho meeting his match. Laura Ramsey is pretty good as the other female characters; but Adelaide Clemens disappoints in a complex character far above her acting skills.
There is strong violence and gore but it never gets too disgusting (or at least too realistic) and are lots of dark funny moments.
I've had my eye on No One Lives for a while and in that time I had
forged good expectations for the film. What more could an avid horror
fan want when such a solid cast gets paired up with one of the most
interesting horror directors in the biz in Ryûhei Kitamura, known
widely for his direction of the 2000 film "Versus" & more recently for
his 2008 "The Midnight Meat Train". So it seemed the film's success
would likely all come down to the quality of the script put forth by
first time writer David Cohen.
This is definitely one of those films that is extremely hard to review without spoiling things, so I will stick to relaying the most basic plot line as possible. After botching their last job, a crew of merciless, degenerate criminals encounter a man(Luke Evans) & his girlfriend while eating at a restaurant. This spirals into a further violent meeting between the two which get's more interesting as we come to learn just where the real danger lies. The clash turns bloody as the balance of power shifts & the gore begins to rain down.
Of course it helps to keep in mind that this is in fact a horror film and that you're not going to witness any award winning performances, but there are some really solid efforts given by Evans as the "Driver" & Adelaide Clemens who plays Emma, a kidnap victim who has been hardened by long lengths of mental & physical torture. There are a couple of scenes that are sure to please the sickest of fans while at the same time may seem a bit on the gory side to the average viewer, but overall I felt this was a very enjoyable, entertaining vision delivered by Kitamura. He lays down a few subtle nuances early in the film that become clear to the audience later if you pay close attention, the best being revealed near the end of the film.
As for the downside of the film, there were some real snags in the script that I felt could have been changed and yes there are a few holes in the plot, most of which were used primarily as a vehicle to exploit certain plot developments. Or in one case to present one heck of a bloody surprise, you'll know what I mean after you see it;] Despite those problems, the film still managed to rise above the average effort, but I believe that it was those weak script points that hurt the film in theaters & the reason it may draw further criticism in the future.
So in the end,if you're trying to decide if this will be a good pick for your horror/gore itch then I can definitely recommend this as a top choice, but if you're looking for a smart thriller with a well developed story then this may not be your best choice, but I wouldn't let it stop you from grabbing it from your local DVD kiosk.
This movie is not what you think. Yes it is a horror (thats for sure), but it has a huge twist right near the start. I was watching this thinking "This is pretty good, story is going well". Then all of a sudden I was thinking "Wait! What the??". I don't want to give too much away, but the story changes tact about 10 or so minutes into the film, and I LIKED that a lot. The blood and gore factor in this is quite high too, which again I LIKED a lot. The movie was better than I was expecting for another WWE made horror, the last horror they made (Barricade) was below average in my opinion, but they've redeemed themselves a bit with this film. The characters were actually played well, especially the part of "Driver" played by Luke Evans. There were a couple of parts in the film that were cliché, but overall the film is quite good. So I give it a good 7.5 out of 10.
When I am in the mood for a horror movie I usually want something with a non confusing plot, decent acting , and good pacing. Thankfully this had all 3. Yes there are some little small nit picks here and there but as a whole this is a good end of the working week Friday night movie. The story is pretty good but cannot be fully explained without spoiling it which I do not want to do. I will start with the gore level, this movie has gore but it is never over used to the point it is laughable unlike so many recent horror movies. The performances are pretty good I was only disappointed with a few line deliveries but I let them blow over my head. The pace was perfect in my opinion it sets up a good steady start, gets you asking questions and then the middle flows perfectly into the end you are never left sitting tempted to forward it onto the next death scene. All in all I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants to be entertained for an hour an a half it is a movie you can switch your brain off and relax, If anyone has any trouble following the basic story then perhaps there at the age they shouldn't be watching it. Give it a try put your feet up and prepare to be entertained and satisfied as No One Lives does not disappoint!!
Unexpectedly good plot and chain of actions keep you incensed during
the movie. I loved the cast. Luke Evans made the killer character the
one who you would enjoy watching whether he is chasing the girl,
killing or simply a loving gut. Charisma is felt in each scene. So in
this case its not a regular fat loser psychopath with a chain saw but
someone who nobody see as potential killer until you cross his line. He
is capable of love as well which is not a usual feature for a psycho.
It's not original and usual what makes you feel surprised while
watching it. You expect something ordinary while the scenery made its
It's not an outrageous type of big screen picture but definitely worth watching. Leaves very good impression.
As small budget films go, this movie is just plain fun. I enjoyed
midnight meat train for it's simplicity and effectiveness. Now,
understand that I love gory over the top flicks, and this is what you
get here. Say hurray for the bad guy cause there's plenty of that in
this. I imagine this will be on IFC at some point, and it's a great
midnight popcorn flick.
If "Taken" had been rated R and much more twisted, you'd come up with this.. and for myself and many others, that's just what I'm looking for.
For a look into the mind of the truly psychotic, I recommend giving this fun ride a go.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ryuhei Kitamura made a film a little while called Midnight Meat Train it starred Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb and Brooke Shields amongst a few notable others, it was sensational and it is criminally under seen. And it showed just what he could do with a budget. Unfortunately the movie wasn't well received financially and has had a tough time finding it's way to an audience. His first feature Versus had a much better fortune but doomed with a low budget and shaky amateur direction it's a mixed bag at best. His second US feature No One lives falls into the middle. It sports a meaty, original concept a young couple find themselves abducted by a group of hoodlums. When the female captive dies the nameless male captive shows his true colors as he escapes and begins to murder them systematically. You see what they discover when examining his car is a young woman seemingly tortured whose been missing for the past year or so and whose picture is all over the news as she is an heiress to a large fortune. To say that the people have messed with the wrong guy is a huge understatement. And although the film is delightfully entertaining it also manages to somewhat explore the complex relationships between captives and the ones holding them. At times it feels a bit hokey and I'd be lying if I didn't say the acting wasn't mostly horrible and the dialogue needed some major work. Still Luke Evans makes for a sexy, delightful villain and although it falls into a few genre trappings and some failed attempts at low budget action it's a fun little gore flick with a surprising amount on it's mind. I do think it's important to realize how much the film has been affected by budgetary constraints and how influenced it is by Asian films. That being said he delivered an uber stylized, wonderfully stylish original horror flick with Midnight Meat Train and even though this may be some what of a step back ward it's still entertaining enough to merit a recommendation if you go in expecting exactly what is a sometimes silly, original, thought provoking, entertaining, slightly hammy horror flick thats equal parts awesome and unintentionally funny at the same time. 3/5
I very rarely review movies but this weekend, for totally opposite
reasons I have wanted to review two. This week I rented out both this
and also the Evil Dead remake.
The evil dead remake was an abomination. This however I thought was superb. When you watch films about serial killers this is exactly the sort of serial killer you want to see.
Its a very unusual film as the 'main' characters in this movie are all detestable and you do not root for them. This leaves you in a situation of not being sure how to take each scene of the movie. The thing is however it works and this film is a rarity that is a must see.
I don't really want to say too much to give anything away. This film is truly one of the best horror surprises I have seen in many years since Tucker and Dale Vs Evil (which was a horror comedy).
To finally say I am not sure why WWE funded this movie as there are no wrestlers in it. And its definitely not a family movie. On looking at the gross this movie made it truly annoyed me as it deserved to be a hit. Evil dead was soulless and terrible. This was ingenious and full of life, energy and soul and yet it tanked in the box office. Just shows Hollywood is never fair.
"No one lives" is a Ryūhei Kitamura Movie and he definitely did not
change his routine since "Versus", which is a known Japanese
Throughout the movie you will see gore,gore and gore - did I mention gore already ? Of course it can not be compared to movies like Braindead or Story of Ricky because you always have the feeling that the director is trying to do something serious. You are not supposed to laugh at a victim, but not to cry either. A major flaw with "No one lives" is a flaw many movies of this genre have - the characters are puppets which were created to be slayed by a superior killer. Ryuhei Kitamura introduces you to them, makes you shake hands and then shoots them in the face infront of you, expecting your thought to be :,, Oh my god is he insane ? How could he do that ? Poor, poor tough biker-guy!". Instead you just sit there, infront of your TV, and think :,,Hmmm... and another one." Another thing that really annoyed me is the invincible killler. I know he's supposed to be like that, but why do I always feel like watching a 22-year-old bad-ass Spetznas super-soldier, when watching a slasher-movie ?
After all the movie was okay and I rate it a 5* Movie. Not bad, but nothing special either - as I said there are 1 or 2 twists and "That was actually a good idea" moments in "No one lives", but all in all it is nothing you haven't seen.
i was glued to the screen for this action packed horror right from the beginning it grabs you into its violent and dark world, good acting even if the blood looks a little fake,its at times quite gory so if this bothers probably not a movie for you, however its highly entertaining and fast paced which i like as sometimes these sorts of movies get a little boring trying to draw out the suspense. it still uses the slasher guide book so even if this is a variant don't expect it to revolutionize anything, while the characters on the whole are all rather unpleasant which is usually a bad thing for me i was not bothered at all here, as well the name says it all. the ending leaves room for a sequel which i would so watch if it was ever brought out.
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