This Day in Horror

04 April 2011

Prowl 2010 - REVIEW

Occasionally I get the opportunity to lock myself in the bedroom for the entire day to catch up on screeners or randomly purchased DVDs. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn't. Yes, yes I know. I've berated myself a million times for buying DVDs before actually seeing them but, like everyone else, I never listen to myself.

Amber (Courtney Hope) dreams of escaping her small town existence and persuades her friends to accompany her to find an apartment in the big city. When their transportation breaks down, she and her friends gratefully accept a ride in the back of a semi. But when the driver refuses to stop and they discover the cargo is hundreds of cartons of blood, they panic. Their panic turns to terror when the truck disgorges them into a dark, abandoned warehouse where blood-thirsty creatures learn to hunt human prey, which, the friends realize, is what they now are...

For the most part, the acting here was decent. Hope gives a performace that's pretty consistent with her level of experience. I was extremely excited to see Bruce Payne but even his performace seemed stiff. Maybe it was that ridiculous southern accent he was trying to pull off. He normally does the creepy bad guy thing really well but it just didn't work for me AT ALL. Saxon Trainor pops in and out a few times and does a great job commanding the screen while flawlessly rattling off the little bit of drab dialogue she was given. I'd comment on the other performances but the only other cast member that has more than 10 minutes of screen time is Ruta Gedmintas and I guess she did okay.

I'd like to say premise wise director Patrik Syversen and writer Tim Tori had some good ideas but I'm not convinced they did. It just seemed like a jumbled, unfinished, unpolished mess. Once the action finally kicks in the entire cast, save for two of them, is obliterated within 5-10 minutes and not even on screen. After that it's mostly shots of vampires scaling walls and victims hiding/running for their lives but if I wanted to see that, I'd watch an action film. I wasn't a fan of the camera work. The film is riddled with scenes of the main character running... where and for what reason I'm not entirely sure but the jolting camera at times made me want to vomit. The cast was so one dimensional and unrelatable that you really didn't care who survived. In fact, I wanted them all dead. It was your stereotypical horror film cast... the good girl who is the moral compass of the film, the everybody likes me even though I'm a slut, the lovesick, out of luck geek dude and the stoners. Why do the majority of filmmakers think that "going cliche" makes a film better. It doesn't. It makes it predictable. You know from the beginning who will live and who will die and you can pretty much bank on the fact that they'll throw in some ridiculous twist ending. Let's make it predictable.... but not.
I'm over it.

When did making bad horror films become okay? This is why no one (meaning Hollywood) really takes horror films seriously. It's the only genre that you can literally sleep your way through filming, piece it together like an aging Hollywood starlet and still get distribution. In this day and age, half ass just doesn't cut it. When you have great films out there like Leslie Vernon and Pontypool that push the boundaries of their subgenres to compete with, it's time to step up the game. Wake up and smell the decomp... they're laughing at us.

I wouldn't recommend this film unless you just wanna see it for the gore, which is pretty minimal for a vampire flick. The effects are the only good thing I can say about this one even if they did look similar to those of 30 Days of Night. Watch it before you purchase it... hell, if after you've seen it you decide you wanna buy it, let me know and I'll send you mine. I don't even like it enough to give it a spot on my shelf.

2 comments:

  1. I read other reviews and other critics actually praised it. Thank goodness you had the same thoughts I did when I reviewed it.

    Let's play truth or dare in the truck we're hitchhiking on!!

    As much as After Dark keeps claiming they're bring original horror...you can always count on them to bring the cliched horror movie 100%.

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  2. Like you, I'm just getting sick of the "let's do it like the rest" thing. Someone out there HAS to have a new and fresh idea. Someone... please! Indie films seem to be where it's at these days. Big studio productions just end up being let downs. It's maddening for me.

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