MARCH 20, 2012
I actually rented Resurrection County over Human Centipede II, figuring I wasn’t yet in the mood for such grim depravity (and I also have The Woman on the way, another movie that sounds like I might want a shower after). So it’s interesting that it not only turned out to be pretty grim itself, but that the dark tone is exactly what I liked about it, elevating it (albeit slightly) above its other “running afoul of rednecks” brethren.
Wait, didn’t I just go off on The Eves for being one of these generic movies? Yes, but this one manages to get a few things right amidst all of its familiar story beats. For starters, the characters are a bit older, and are dealing with real world problems such as quickie marriages and uncertain job security – much more tolerable than yet another group of teens who only care about having sex and/or being total assholes to one another. They’re not exactly the most charming and likable folks I’ve ever seen (Dayton Knoll’s character is kind of a straight up asshole), they feel like human beings instead of caricatures, and decently acted for a change.
And they all die. I’ve said numerous times that I’m always bothered by these sort of movies that showcase a group of villains who seemingly kill tourists for a living and are undone by our heroes, so I liked that this serves as a “just another day” tale for the bad guys. Sure, our heroes manage to take a few of them out, but at the end of the day, our weekend camper protagonists are no match for the professional redneck killers. Unpleasant, sure, but after seeing so many horror movies without any balls, I found it kind of refreshing that the movie didn’t even come close to a happy ending. Some may find it a bit too much – (offscreen) rape and the death of a pregnant character are involved – but I enjoyed the minor surprises it offered; I was legit shocked when one character was dispatched early on, and the writers did a fine job of balancing everyone out so that a clear hero or “Final Girl” wasn’t obvious. Even if the last one alive HAD made it out, they wouldn’t have been the clear favorite from the first ten minutes, which is usually the case.
Also: PRACTICAL FX!!! Things get pretty gruesome here, and it was wonderful to see so much real fake blood splattering on walls or pooling out on the floor instead of the CGI shit that’s becoming the standard. And I liked how gooey it got… one character gets their brains blown out, and their partner, in a state of shock, tries scooping it back in like DeNiro in The Deer Hunter. Heh. But the movie is actually humor free, which makes these moments actually sting a little – you can’t help but feel for the guy, and the filmmakers clearly aren’t interested in lightening the mood, ever.
The only real flaw is that there are a few too many scenes involving a sheriff that is snooping around. For a change in these things, the cop ISN’T one of the villains, which is fine/good, but it all feels like padding. The movie runs a bit longer than average (95 minutes) so I think it could be done without this stuff; the only real purpose it serves is to give an excuse for the rednecks to leave the area where our heroes are chained up – something a little more streamlined would have improved things. Again, this is pretty familiar territory for the most part, so it’s kind of a bummer that the closest thing they have to a new idea actually hinders the pace.
So if you’re not totally burned out on these things (or even if you think you are), you might find something to enjoy here. It’s not a great movie by any means, but I admire the bullshit-free, unsettling approach to this material after seeing so many that didn’t have the balls to commit to being so ruthless. And again, it’s nice to see adults in this kind of horror movie every now and then too.
What say you?