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Belittling Horror Excessively: Sam's Lake10:21 PM -- Tue October 11, 2011

This is a movie review... I will not outright spoil things, but if you want to really experience a movie fresh and clean, there is information below that will dirty you up! So beware of mild semi-spoilers.

Synopsis: A group of city folk head to a cabin in the woods (by a lake, duh!). Surprisingly, going to a remote cabin in the woods, in a horror movie, turns out to be a bad idea! Stabbing ensues.

Scariness Type: Not much really, but it's got some jump scares and a little teeny bit of gore.

Rating: 3/5 Logging Poles.

Awarded: The Excellence In Being Different Award. It's a teens-in-the-wood slasher that defies formula on many occasions.

Good Stuff: The characters are not one-dimensional, not entirely. I kind of wonder if a lot of the dialog is ad-libbed because it's got some odd moments of authenticity and awkwardness you wouldn't expect. Could just be awkward writing though! The main good thing is that there's a couple real twists that make this very different from the slasher movie you are expecting (it's still a slasher movie, just not the one you expect). I won't spoil what they are for you, which means there's a lot I can't talk about!

Bad Stuff: The actual slashing that occurs is not interesting in any way. Every kill is just stab-stab-stab. In fact, I'd say once the craziness kicks in, there's really nothing interesting that happens, it's just "let's go there, uh oh there's a killer there, run away!" until stab-stab-stab. On the other hand, there's also nothing really interesting before the craziness either... by which I mean that there's a very long stretch of movie which is just getting to know the characters, not even connected to the actual plot. The interesting bit is really just a tiny little tidbit in between the boring yak-yak-yak and the boring stab-stab-stab. That makes it sound worse than it is, because as I rated 3/5, it's pretty mediumish, once you factor in the differentness. Oh, one last bad: what is up with that ending?? They did succeed in not being cliche, that's for sure, but in doing so, they made nothing at all happen. I'd rather have a cliche than a lack of excitement!

Classic Rules Of Film: They followed the rules here. If you're gonna show and discuss a logging pole in Act 1, somebody's getting clubbed with it in Act 3. I actually spent the last quarter of the movie just waiting for that to happen, and I was not disappointed.

My Take: In a way, this is what I've been searching for in Belittling Horror Excessively, and it's what I was shooting for with Jason X and completely didn't get. Just a bunch of young adults getting scared, running around, splitting up, and then getting hacked up. That's how really lame horror is supposed to work, and here it did. As an added bonus, there was the unique plot element or two that really make it stand out. I don't know that I'd really recommend this, but it wasn't a bad experience, so why not? It's also just about the most tame movie I've covered here. If they bleeped out a few words, they could show this on network TV! Maybe they have, I don't know.

Artistic Nonsense: I can't offer much by way of goofy themes without giving anything away... I guess here's a list of handy tips that this movie and a thousand others teach you: First, don't go to remote woodsy cabins. Just don't. Second, when you do, don't split up. I mean come on! Third, pay attention to your surroundings, carry a rape whistle, and possibly a shotgun. These are key. Fourth, if the creepy small-town folks say "It's dangerous around here this time o' year..." in a creepy way, maybe that's not the place to visit (see tip #1 on that).

I tried to watch The Nameless both yesterday and today, but Netflix is still refusing to show it to me. I guess we'll consider that day a failure, but I'll try to slip an extra movie in sometime. For now though, tomorrow's movie will be Tales From The Dead, which I have been looking forward to all month! It's a Japanese movie that is actually a set of four short stories. I think it's four. Anyway, that will be loads of fun whether it's good or not.
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