The advertising for this film was very promising. From the creepy masks, secluded setting and traditional stalk-and-slash genre, it seemed like a winner.
I'm sure from the tone of this post, however, that you have guessed that I did not find this film to be much of a winner...
The kick off is fast and bloody. It almost has a 70s slasher feel to it, too, which is then carried on into the next scene where we are introduced to some of our main characters Crispian (A.J. Bowen) and his fiancée Erin (Sharni Vinson), who are on their way to visit Crispian's wealthy parents in their new luxury holiday home. It seems that all of Crispian's brothers are also visiting for the weekend with their girlfriends/spouses and fiancées too.
Unfortunately, the family reunion is to be spoiled when a small band of animal-masked killers target the family with a range of weapons in an organised assault.
An odd film, it couldn't decide if it was going for the feeling of an older film or trying to be modern.
The characters also lacked a lot of development, resulting in them becoming, to me, very disposable. I found myself rooting for the killers just to see what imaginative killing devices they had cooked up next!
Where the backstory was provided it seemed forced and patchy, and acted as nothing more than an excuse to create a kick-ass female character. Now, I'm not complaining. I'm a Whedon fan. A kick-ass female lead is always fun, but maybe a bit more thought could have went into the character set up there.
The twist, because let's face it there was always going to be one or two... or three..., is intriguing but not clever. And the plot is painfully slow, allowing me to begin thinking about other things while our boring collection of characters did some stuff.
Also, the mother looked younger than her 'sons'. A bun hair do is not sufficient as 'older person' make-up!
Of course, I do have nice things to say about this film too.
The action, when it gets around to it, is impeccable. The gore is fun and shocking, the killing techniques are interesting and believable. The scary bits are indeed scary. The masks are an excellent touch and the blender kill is pure genius!
While I would hasten to add that I think gore hounds and horror fans should definitely all see this film just to appreciate its ups, I found its downs to outweigh the fun and horror and leave me feeling mostly unimpressed.
[Image: Lionsgate & Icon Pictures]