Disclaimer: My reviews of media here do not mean that I lay any claim to the media in question. All reviews are entirely subjective. I may talk about how well the movie objectively works in my opinion, but it essentially all comes down to what I think of the movie. My liking a movie is not the same as thinking it's a great movie. If I trash a movie that you love, or love a movie you can’t stand, it’s not because I hate you. Also, all reviews are likely to contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen the movies in question and don’t want to know what happens, then you probably shouldn’t be reading about them here. Finally, a blanket trigger warning for people who don't want to read about common horror movie content such as sexism, racism, violence, etc.: I will likely discuss all of the above when they show up in the films I review, so please tread with caution. Check out this post for more on how my reviews are set up.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Horror Movie Review: Razor's Ring (2008)

Overall: D-
Acting: D+
Writing: D
Story: D
Technical aspects: D
Effects: F

Directed by:
Morgan Hampton

Wayne Casey
AnnieScott Rogers
Paul Schilens
Lisa Wharton
Nate Duncan

            The basic plot of this one is that an innocent guy named Scott (Wayne Casey) is just out for a jog, when he’s suddenly kidnapped by the couple Razor (Paul Schilens) and Julie (Lisa Wharton.) Their motives for this are never really explained… they’re both wanted by the police, but they’re driving around running over people and animals as a game, and for some reason they grab Scott and take him with.
            They aim to run over a little girl, and Scott attempts to get control of the car, and they end up hitting an old man. The man’s family members attack the three, capturing them and taking them to see “Red.” The three are kept in a shed, where they’re tormented in various ways (Razor has a finger cut off, Julie is forced to stand naked on their dinner table, Scott gets stabbed…) And Red (AnnieScott Rogers,) the apparent matriarch of the group insists that she’ll slowly let each of them go over the next few weeks, so her family will think they’ve been justly taken care of.
            Blah blah, stuff happens, Julie and Razor are supposedly let go, Scott is allowed to come live in the house rather than the shed, and he’s taken to a big party they’re putting on. As he’s eating, he finds Razor’s ring (clever title!) in his food, and he realizes that OMG THEY’VE BEEN EATING PEOPLE. AND HE’S NEXT. Either a Soylent Green or a Troll 2 joke would be appropriate here.
            Spoilers! He escapes, there’s the fakest explosion ever, and he returns to society. But then he realizes that he’s now addicted to eating human flesh! He then buys the land the cannibals were living on, and is apparently planning to eat his girlfriend? Or something. (End spoilers.)

            Anyway, not a good film. The characterization was very inconsistent – Razor and Julie plan to pin the death of the old man on Scott, Scott plans to tell the truth about his non-involvement, so they’re fighting with each other most of the time. But then suddenly they’ll be acting like great friends, trying to work together, or just talking to each other. And what’s ostensibly a couple days later (though we’re told that it’s been weeks, sometimes; there’s no real sense of time passing) Razor and Scott sit talking about how wonderful the food is, and how great things are. (It’s funny because they’re EATING JULIE, GET IT?)
            The acting is pretty poor, though not the worst out there. Some is likely more budget than anything, but in a couple scenes it appears an actor screws up a line and then just has to roll with it. None of the characters strike me as very believable in their roles, though. The one exception is probably AnnieScott Rogers as Red, as she’s pretty entertaining. She falls into the “watch my extreme mood shifts to show I’m evil” acting camp, and could be considered the low-budget Kathy Bates-as-Annie Wilkes, but she’s pretty good as both a violent psychopath and as the kindly grandmother-type.
            The sound direction was all right, but the filming was not. It appears to be done almost exclusively with a handheld camera, sometimes going out of focus, always unsteady, using clumsy zooms to focus on things. Scenes are terribly edited together, in some cases making it painfully clear that the two people or events that are being cut between aren’t happening even remotely near each other.
            The effects are laughable. Most of the gory scenes aren’t shown, probably for the better, because the blood effects are pretty sub-standard. And the explosion at the end… we both literally started laughing at how silly it looked.
            This movie definitely felt like a waste of time. But it gets a D simply because my bar for an F has been set so incredibly low.

(Happy October, everyone!)

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