A group of high-schoolers invite Mandy Lane, an innocent, desirable girl, to a weekend party on a secluded ranch. While the festivities rage on, the number of revelers begins to drop mysteri... Read allA group of high-schoolers invite Mandy Lane, an innocent, desirable girl, to a weekend party on a secluded ranch. While the festivities rage on, the number of revelers begins to drop mysteriously.A group of high-schoolers invite Mandy Lane, an innocent, desirable girl, to a weekend party on a secluded ranch. While the festivities rage on, the number of revelers begins to drop mysteriously.
In typical slasher flick formula, a group of students, Mandy included, organized themselves for a getaway in a secluded ranch, where a ranch hand Garth (Anson Mount) provides that element of question as to who amongst the group will be the hunter, and who will fall as prey. Like how the formula warns against decadent teenage lifestyles, such as the unwritten rules of having the non-virgin being dispatched first and the likes, you're constantly kept guessing as everyone in the group, save for our goody-two-shoes Mandy, get sloshed in a flood of sin, with the smoking of weed, snorting of coke, being highly sexually charged and active, and downing alcohol as if it was water.
It does take quite a while for the first person to fall, and you probably won't feel much for the characters that had to kick the bucket in the most violent of deaths, which get shown quite graphically, only to pull back at the last minute through visual tricks and edits the filmmakers use. But for slasher flick fans, it's a long ride to get to this stage, and frankly speaking given that the characters all don't appeal to you (i.e. you couldn't care less if they live or die), the movie does seem to coast along the tried and tested, until its last act.
Surprisingly, the narrative decided to reveal its boogeyman quite early on in the film, which provided some perplexing questions. Again for those familiar with the genre, there'll always be a thought niggling in your mind in disbelief that the plot would be so straight forward. Granted as mentioned, the payload comes at the finale, which I thought had two meanings, depending on which concept you subscribe to. First, following reality that the most perverse amongst us tend to be the one most disconnected, and second, punishment coming from someone who doesn't see eye to eye on immoral lifestyles, and want to put a deadly stop to it.
I did see the revelation coming, but for the longest time had decided not to believe my gut feeling in the hopes that it would develop into something that will genuinely blow my mind. It's not perfect, but it did have its moments with the following of recent trends in the slasher genre that bad guys don't have to necessarily finish last. Nothing fanciful here, but it still worked to a certain degree. And kudos to both the casting director in putting Amber Heard in the titular role, and for the actress to pull off one of the more memorable lead characters in such a genre flick.
- DICK STEEL
- Sep 25, 2008