Directed by: Alexander Babaev
Cast: Margaret Judson, Devin Goodsell, Michael Johnston
When the first trailer for Bornless Ones hit the net the reaction was pretty unanimous, and that reaction wasn’t favorable. It went something like this: Oh great, a low budget Evil Dead ripoff! And you know what? That’s really close to what Bornless Ones is. But here’s where it gets a little tricky: it’s an enjoyable film with some humorous moments, some fun moments, some relatively brutal moments. It’s worth a look, despite the fact that it is apparently heavily influenced by Evil Dead.
And Evil Dead isn’t the only flick that earns recognition (there’s a cool nod to Tobe Hooper’s original Texas Chainsaw Massacre that I found pretty awesome), writer/director Alexander Babaev throws in nods to a number of films. And to be honest, I never really felt as though he was stealing ideas, I felt as though he was taking a Rob Zombie-esque route by honoring the films that inspired him. I’ve always been the kind of fan that can appreciate a good hat tip, and Babaev keeps the hat tippin’.
There are some pretty shocking moments to take in, and Babaev does a very smart thing by almost splitting his film into two pieces. On one hand you have a very deep, very personal and familial conflict (nope, I’m not going to spoil it), and on the other hand he keeps things light-hearted and doesn’t treat his horrific material overtly seriously. He seems to understand precisely what kind of film he’s making (speaking of understanding, there are technical chances that pay off by creating grim atmosphere and occasionally discombobulating aesthetics), and that too deserves a little love.
A few of these relatively green performers feel rigid at times, and a few feel refined beyond their years and experience. It’s an interesting blend, but it works because we aren’t really asked to deal with any flat out terrible performers. The speed boat holds no anchor and that’s a noticeable positive of the picture.
I know I’ve been vague in my breakdown of the story, but that’s a very intentional thing. I’ll give you one more detail, which falls in line with the Evil Dead parallels, and that is that one of the characters, a sibling to another, finds himself being controlled by a dark power… and he’s dangerous. That’s the only other detail you get. And, I think if you watch this one with an open mind, realizing that this flick is more of a love song to great films of yesteryear than a bid to create something new and innovative, you just might have a damn good time.