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DIRECTOR: Alexandre Aja RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2006 RATING: R
CAST: Michael Bailey Smith, Ted Levine, Kathleen Quinlan, Emilie de Ravin, et al.
// review by Jeff

I hope Wes Craven takes offense to this version.

I'll make this review short and sweet: this movie is not to be viewed by anyone.

Let me elaborate. We decided to watch this movie as a family -- my parents seem to enjoy horror flicks for some reason -- and at first, it was fairly enjoyable, albeit rather predictable with its "family takes a detour in the desert, vehicle crashes, men have to go seek assistance by wandering for miles" routine. That's fair enough. And then, the members of the family who went wandering upon their own routes discover different pieces of the puzzle that haunts this desert. A couple even meet the strange inhabitants of these lands who are somewhat deformed after the effects of nuclear testing. I'm thinking that the movie will be a bit clichéd but still could have satisfying results.

And then one scene occurs; I have NEVER in my life seen a movie take such a nose-dive in quality. In fact, it was after this scene when we all agreed that we cannot watch this movie any further. That's right: I haven't finished watching yet. And I never plan to. Here's how the scene goes (and I'm sorry if I've spoiled anything for you already, but you shouldn't be watching this film anyway): it is nighttime. One of their dogs was killed earlier, and the other one had been mysteriously freed from its chain. The son of the family hears barking in the distance and goes after it. The father hasn't returned from his trek (although he was captured and brutally beaten by the desert people). As other members of the family look out to see where the son has gone, one of the desert people nearby cues the flames, and we get to see -- hooray? -- the father being burned alive as he is tied to a giant stake. So they all run out to see the horrid scene. However, the teenage daughter is still sleeping in the trailer. One of those desert freaks then enters the trailer and attacks her. Another desert yokel enters the trailer as well and pokes around the place before biting the head off a budgie and drinking the blood by squeezing the body like a juice box. The eldest daughter comes in (perhaps after hearing some noise within the trailer), sees this, and tries to save her but is threatened with a gun. The pistol-toting freak then commences to expose her upper region and suckle upon her breastmilk (I suppose one must be thirsty under the hot sun). Meanwhile, the other desert goon is still after the daughter, even going so far as to...um...how do I put this delicately... um... forcibly have sex with her as she frantically tries to escape the grasp of the mutated desert dweller. (Hmmm... that wasn't subtle at all.) Then the mother comes in, and she gets shot and practically killed (she squirms a bit later on, but she won't survive). The pistol is pointed at a newborn baby... the eldest daughter gets shot in the head and blood splatters everywhere... the father is dead... Do you get the idea yet?!?!

The point I'm trying to make is that this scene is absolutely disgusting. Just the sex aspect alone caused me to cringe internally during this scene, but let's not even go to the man whose fate is to burn in front of his family, or the amazingly sadistic deaths of the women. Half the budget was spent on prop blood. Needless to say, this scene alone shows the tasteless nature of this film (although one has to see to truly believe, I guess). I'm not even going to talk about the artistic or cinematic aspects of this film; they don't matter one bit. I can't recommend this movie to anyone, living or dead, simply because it's an unpleasant watch and it would be extremely difficult to find any enjoyment from this particular scene onwards. NEVER. SEE. THIS. MOVIE. EVER. My rating speaks for itself.


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