What Lies Within


Viewed – 21 May 2016  Pay-Per-View

A young couple (Gabriella Wright & Bret Roberts) with a strained marriage following a miscarriage, decide to go to a secluded cabin in the woods in an attempt at reconciling their issues.  However once there the husband’s underlying jealousy and the woman’s on going psychological trauma begin to cause problems.

What Lies Within

Now I have seen a lot of movies in my time and some were pretty poorly made, but this woefully amateurish attempt at a horror thriller felt from the off like a group of friends given a camera and asked to make something.  The result is a flimsy attempt at a story with feeble attempts at acting and next to no technical ability.  It’s filmed with a complete lack of tension and cheap jump scares, and an eerie looking location cannot make up for a total lack of ability to pull the viewer in.  Supposedly creepy things lurking in the woods, lingering camera angles and a secluded setting should at least generate a degree of atmosphere … but along with terrible acting, I struggled to get through this one.  Towards the end some pretty rough violence kicks in, clearly an attempt to have something going on – as for a good hour, nothing happens … and I mean nothing.  So we get graphic stabbings, some action with an axe and even an eye piercing, but guess what?  It makes no sense and comes out of nowhere, meaning any possibility of a believable or interesting narrative is ultimately lost in place of shock value.  The actors try their best but are laughably inexperienced.  So the point of this movie is totally lost on me.  A tacked on twist at the end only goes to make the whole experience all the more annoying.

Director Lucas Pavetto shows a total lack of talent and hopefully never picks up a movie camera again.  The rest of those involved can go back to their day jobs.  Avoid.

Verdict:  1 /5

Martyrs


Viewed – 26 May 2009  DVD

Oh my god.  I have seen some f**** up stuff in my time, and have a pretty high tolerance for violent movies, but something about this latest French export got under my skin.  This hard hitting horror movie takes its lead from torture porn extravaganzas such as Hostel and Saw then cranks it up to eleven, whilst hammering home a disturbingly believable premise that, I’m not ashamed to admit, made me feel guilty for watching.

Lucie is a damaged, disturbed young woman who when she was a child was kidnapped and physically abused, only to escape in the film’s opening minutes as we witness her run, battered, bruised and crying, semi-naked down a dusty road.  Soon the film cuts to fifteen years later and Lucie turns up on the doorstep of a seemingly innocent family, sporting a double-barrel shotgun, and proceeds to exact her revenge in a bloody, unrelenting killing spree.  Then the movie gets really nasty.  This is certainly not an experience (and it is an experience) for anyone easily shocked, as there are scenes here of physical violence, drawn out and unflinching, mixed with horrific hallucinations, all leading to an ending that once seen, will surely lay imprinted on your subconscious for days.  I kid you not.

Pascal Laugier’s film is obviously an experiment in endurance, but also has a powerful, real world message of the evil that lurks among the seemingly innocent.  This kind of stuff happens, we as a species are capable of horrendous acts of cruelty and violence, and this showcases exactly how far someone might take such extremes.  I’m going to recommend this though, as even though as a piece of entertainment its not really suitable for anyone – but as an example of just how far movies can go to shock and disturb – this one is there … with a bullet.

A special mention must go to the fascinating 85 minute documentary included on this UK Optimum release, that although sheds no light on the reasoning behind the films disturbing themes, gives a detailed look into the film-making process with a wealth of rehearsal and make-up effects footage that created for me an increased admiration for the film makers and their obvious talents.

Verdict:  4 /5

Saw V


Viewed – 28 October 2008  Cinema

Well they keep making them, and I keep going to see them.  Oh well, I admit it I love this franchise about a genius kind of killer who places his victims in deadly traps and if they survive, they come out changed – for the better is open to debate.  Since Saw III though, Jigsaw has been dead (if you’re reading this, you shoulda already seen the previous films, and if not then what are you doing here?), and so we have the newer films based mostly on the Jigsaw’s past, his ex-wife and flashbacks to the previous films with new information revealed we didn’t previously see.  In this one we follow Jigsaw apprentace Hoffman as he continues Jigsaw’s work whilst another cop is hot on his trail.  Add to this another group of hapless individuals trapped in a series of puzzle filled rooms – and again this is clever, graphically twisted and complex horror as we have come to expect from the series.

Some more stuff is revealed on what Jigsaw is all about and his methods, but just like Saw IV, more questions are again raised with no real answers given (like what’s in the box?).  This is a better entry into the series than 4 mainly down to some fiendish puzzles and a great twist.  Hoffman is brilliantly creepy replacement for Jigsaw himself, and its all very nail biting, turn away from the screen nasty entertianment. 

It’s a money spinner for sure, and on this evidence the whole thing could go on forever, and whilst it remains very well made – the inital idea is now getting very old…so come on Saw makers, end it now.  Before you ruin it completely.

Verdict: 3 /5