Written By: Lois Kennedy
Director: Thomas Jakobsen
Cast: Zack Gold, Jason Tobias, Bob Turton, James C. Burns
Michael is a basically decent guy with a pregnant girlfriend and a bit of a drug problem. His four friends kidnap him for a bachelor party in the woods, “a hundred miles from anything.” When his friends start dying off one by one, Michael suspects it was the vicious drug dealer he robbed.
The direction is competent, especially for a first film. The establishing shots of the woods are gorgeous. The acting is decent. Zack Gold especially turns in a soulful performance as Michael.
Sound is limited, but there are these great scratchy sound effects that highlight Michael’s torment. Lighting is used effectively to convey Michael’s state of mind, from very dark when he’s scoring drugs, gray when he’s at his lowest in the woods, and bright when his situation looks hopeful. (However I was annoyed by occasional silent, high-key, hyper-bright shots of Michael’s girlfriend Jess, which are majorly cliched.)
It’s possible to figure out the ending, but it’s still entertaining getting there. The guys are likable (if a bit difficult to tell apart at first), and since the movie doesn’t follow all the standard slasher rules like illicit sex resulting in death, there aren’t any bimbo characters being annoying. The guys start out making pretty smart decisions (like trying to stick together). It’s a pretty serious effort; I guess you’d call it more of a thriller than a slasher, in the sense that the deaths are quick and not dwelled upon. There are no one-liners and it’s mostly light on comic relief. The most disturbing parts are the unflinching depictions of drug addiction. Michael’s isolation and friends disappearing around him pretty well sums up the downward spiral his life is taking. Overall, my biggest gripe is the title. Give it a look if you’re in the mood for something not scary or gory but psychological and honest.