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A late night detour leads to an unimaginable nightmare when an estranged couple`s car breaks down on a remote country road. David Fox (Luke Wilson) and his soon-to-be ex-wife Amy (Kate Beckinsale) are forced to spend the night at a seedy motel run by an odd but seemingly harmless proprietor (Frank Whaley). In their room, the bickering couple find a cache of homemade slasher films that look disturbingly real. When they learn that the blood-soaked videos were shot in the very room they`re staying in, David and Amy realise that they will be the filmmakers` next victims - unless they put aside their differences and work together to escape.
: 19 Jul 2007
: Horror / Suspense
1 Hour 25 Minutes
: SONY PICTURES RELEASING INTERNATIONAL
Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang
Watch this if you liked:
"House Of Wax", "Wrong Turn"
Director Nimrod Antal's last film (Hungarian romance-mystery "Kontroll") was back in 2003 so I expected something good since it was that effort which mostly won him the chance to do Hollywood proper.
Should I give you another take on the synopsis above? A bickering couple, Amy and David Fox (Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson), find themselves stranded in a motel due to the male ego's insistence on never asking for directions and the female inclination to sleep as much as possible on a road trip to avoid arguing over this insistence. No sooner than the two have inspected the deplorable toilet, David discovers some 'snuff' videotapes (like in Nicolas Cage's "8mm") where people get off on watching other people being tortured and killed. The next 24 hours would determine whether Amy and David escapes the motel.
Rather formulaic, there isn't much that's original with this sort of premise, is there? Still, all is not lost because Beckinsale's acting seem to have gotten better lately and in this one, matches up to Wilson's (once you pardon her London accent leaking through her 'panic' lines). As for the suspense value, there were many opportunities to play with the tension, especially in the tunnel scene with rats, where David couldn't help Amy because it was too narrow. Sadly, the screenplay for these didn't manage to convey the true desperation of the characters, an element which only half of Hollywood slasher films get right.
The bane of Malaysian cinema again rears its ugly head, this time with close to what must be 30 cuts, from the catalogue of swearing we could blatantly guess to a crucial scene where we are left clueless as to how Beckinsale managed to get away from one attacker. Antal might have also heard about our Board, since he gave Beckinsale no suggestive scenes in this film - scenes which would surely make the annoyance greater, once cut. Also, this reviewer admits that it could've even been a four-star film, since what was cut could have changed the film significantly in cinematic terms.
Anyhow, if you're a fan of anything from the slasher genre, go watch this. If you're expecting "Saw" or "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", this is a few cuts below. Cool opening credit sequence, though.
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