25 September 2008 | lost-in-limbo
Take your time to spread the terror.
The inspirational for this sub-standard, low-budget woodland slasher/survival horror is obvious ('Friday the 13th'and 'Deliverance'), but even then it took the hackneyed clichés and kind of added its own messy slab to the well-worn formula. Was it for the better? I don't know? What fell by the wayside was the overall pacing due to there being too little to the transparent story and simply having the characters going through the motions. Too much dead air with a small body count and not enough thrills. When they were inserted, it was feeble. Other then a decent opening (with that smoking theme song) and thunderously outlandish closing, in between was a lot of repetitively aimless parading. It's easy through those parts because of the beautifully authentic setting that was fluidly photographed. Although the nocturnal scenes are poorly lit. Director Andrew Davis (who would go onto to be a pivotal action deliverer with titles like 'The Package' (1989), 'Under Siege (1992) and 'The Fugitive' (1993) and many more) does a quite passive, if workman-like job without the setting the world alight. There's true grit, but the attacks are telegraphed and rushed leaving it struggling to sustain any sort of momentum in its attempts of suspense. Atmosphere on the other hand, breathes some starkness and the environment moodily blends well with Susan Justin's eerily unhinged music score and penetrating forest sounds. The cast is more interesting to look at on paper, than actually watching their performances. Really the material doesn't allow much room for growth and makes them all unappealingly disposable. Too many I guess. Daryl Hannah, Adrian Zmed and Rachel Ward are fine. Joe Pantoliano in a short role makes the most in an over-exaggeratedly on-edge turn and Lewis Smith's unpredictable character kept one amused. It has its moments, but fails to really come out of first-gear.