When a successful country lawyer captures and attempts to "civilize" the last remaining member of a violent clan that has roamed the Northeast coast for decades, he puts the lives of his fam... Read allWhen a successful country lawyer captures and attempts to "civilize" the last remaining member of a violent clan that has roamed the Northeast coast for decades, he puts the lives of his family in jeopardy.When a successful country lawyer captures and attempts to "civilize" the last remaining member of a violent clan that has roamed the Northeast coast for decades, he puts the lives of his family in jeopardy.
The mother and kids of the family and even "the woman" were fairly well acted and developed, although I find it hard to believe in any teenagers these days that will just do whatever their father says. Unfortunately, the father, teacher, and some other small parts seemed to be more caricature than character. The fact that it was not working was obvious, although how much of it can be blamed on bad writing, bad acting, or bad directing may be debatable. Unfortunately, the father is in almost every scene, so this caricature becomes the centerpiece that the rest of the film revolves around.
There are some other problems with sound choices and some of the worst use of music I've heard in any film. Almost every time one of these alt-pop tunes came on all I could think was "Really? They're using this to set the mood?!" I think only once during the course of the film, did a song come on that I thought "Oh, this almost, sort of works". Most of these songs would probably be fine on their own, but didn't seem to fit the mood of the film at all.
In addition occasional bad directing, lighting, and editing choices left me not being able to see or understand what was happening at certain points in the film or understanding why they edited the same shots cutting back and forth at times. This is most obvious in the opening scenes where they are showing the girl raised by wolves. It's a pretty common theme that's been done dozens of times before. Yet here they spend too much time on it, without actually developing it at all. Just a lot of jumpy cuts going back and forth to state the obvious, to the point that I started fast forwarding to get to the credits and see if the film was actually going anywhere. The credits really shouldn't be more interesting than the opening scenes. I would have much rather seen more development on the father's character and what his motivations were in these opening scenes. We never really get any of that, and as I said earlier, he's pivotal to the way every other character acts and reacts during the course of the film. Other than those complaints, the overall technical aspects of the film were pretty professional for an indie film.
The biggest problem for me though, was lack of any kind of suspense buildup. Something that is ever present in the best of horror films, and usually at least some hint of, even in a mediocre horror film. I was never really left wondering what was going to happen next, things just happened and we watched, but didn't feel much of anything for the characters involved.
I respect the director's decision to do something a bit out there in terms of film norms these days, and the ending might give you a bit of a chuckle, if you hang in there that long, but in the end found it to be a rather low end mediocre movie, so 5 out of 10.
- Jun 1, 2011