Gone directed by Heitor Dhalia and starring the very lovely Amanda Seyfried is a serial killer thriller in the vein of such films as Kiss the Girls (Gary Fleder, 1997) and Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991). The basic plot is that Jill (Seyfried) was previously kidnapped by a man and thrown down a hole, her attacker would have killed her that night but she escaped by stabbing him with a sharp bone belonging to a previous victim. However the Psychopath left no evidence and Jill did not get a good look at him so the local police department do not believe her and instead have her temporarily committed. At the start of the film Jill is living in her parents old house (both her parents are dead) and trying to rebuild her life by going out and working nights at as a waitress. Jill’s sister stays the night at Jill’s house to get some piece and quiet before an important college exam and a series of coincidences lead the killer to think that JIll is home alone, causing him to capture her sister instead. Jill realises her sister Molly has been kidnapped the second she arrives home but again the police do not believe her. Realising that Molly may well be killed by the end of the night if she is not found Jill must take action by her self in order to track down her sister.

Gone mainly consists of Jill following a number of leads, in order to find her sister. In this sense the nearest thing I can compare it to, and what I was reminded of most of the way through the film was L.A. Noire (Rockstar games, 2011). For those of you who have been hiding under a rock L.A. Noire is an interactive detective video game where we the player control the actions and decisions of Detective Cole Phelps as he tracks down various crooks and killers. The game consists of travelling to various locations, collecting evidence, and then interviewing possible witnesses. When the witness responds to your questions you must guess if the are telling the truth or lying. Gone is very similar in this respect. Although we are not able to choose where Jill goes or who she talks to we are invited to asses whether each person is telling the truth, and as almost all of the people she speaks with are male, and appear suspicious, we must decide if they are a possible candidate to be the murderer. This aspect was rather interesting and the film certainly cranked up the tension, and expectation at each turn.

I enjoyed the film but found it forgettable, mainly because the ending was a huge damp squib. We are lead to believe that there will be a big twist at the end (predictable or not) when the villain is revealed, but the ending fails to live up to expectations. I will not tell you who the killer is but I will tell you who he is not (for reasons of catharsis) In Aprils edition of Trailer Trash where I reviewed the trailer for Gone I suggested that Wes Bentley’s Detective Peter Hood might turn out to be the killer, this is indeed suggested all the way through, he even disappears at a vital moment to ‘take soup to his sick mother,’ it turns out not to be him. However as anyone who has seen P2 (Franck Khalfoun, 2007) will probably agree, despite the cliché, if Wes Bentley had been the killer it would have been preferable to the actual ending of this film. Wes Bentley was certainly under used here.

Amanda Seyfried is an engaging actress and therefore is just about able to carry the movie over any cracks it has, but at the end of the day the aforementioned Kiss The Girls and Silence of the Lambs are certainly superior films. So lets cheer ourselves up by watching that classic Wes Bentley American Beauty (Sam Mendes, 1999) plastic bag scene one more time!


Trailer Trash April Edition

I am introducing a new monthly segment that I have originally entitled trailer trash. These segments will involve a sneak peek at the months upcoming horror films (based on U.K. release dates) and mini reviews based on the contents of the trailers. So if you have survived the zombies on the forecourts and the increased tax on your hot human flesh pasty what horrors does the rest of April have in-store for us?

The Cabin in the Woods 09/04/12

There is already a lot of buzz around this film, mostly due to Joss Whedon involvement as producer. One Whedon fan boy kindly pointed out to me that The Cabin in the Woods apparently can not be a bad film because Joss Whedon created Firefly (2002)… Personally I could not care any less about Firefly if I tried but I am a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), and therefore willing to give my friend’s comments the benefit of the doubt. The trailer begins with a group of twenty some-things taking a trip in their camper van up into the woods to stay at a remote cabin. This is all very reminiscent of about a thousand other films most notably The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974, Hooper . T) and the Friday the 13th films, and some of the characters are already saying inane things about ‘getting off the grid’ that scream ‘please kill me’ but hopefully this is all a ruse, we are all being lured into a false sense of security that this is just another cabin in the woods flick, when really this is something entirely better. Directed and co-written by Drew Goddard the guy who wrote Cloverfield (2008, Reeves . M) (a film he didn’t get half enough credit for due Mr Whedon looming in the background again) which was actually a really great original movie, The Cabin in the Woods looks like it could be a relentless and original horror. This is re-enforced when we see the cabin itself in the trailer with its two way mirrors, hidden cameras and lift to hidden levels. Looking at the poster this could be Saw in the woods, but fingers crossed it will be more substantial than that. All though I just quickly have to point out that the CG bird flying into the CG electric fence is so bad it reeks of Terra nova (2011)

Gone 16/04/12

gone 2Amanda Seyfried stars in what looks from the trailer to be a detective thriller with horror leanings in the ebb of classics like Silence of the Lambs (1991, Demme . J) and Kiss the Girls (1997, Fleder . G). Seyfried escapes the clutches of a murderer who has her down a pit in the woods only for the police  to disbelieve her story, so when the killer comes back to get her and takes her sister instead, she must investigate her sisters disappearance on her own, alone and with no one to trust. Gone seems to basically use the same plot as Kiss the Girls minus Morgan Freeman, but as Seyfried is a reasonably good actress it is nice to see her take on the lead. Wes Bentley was in the trailer but the trailer tried not to focus on his presence too much, which leads me too believe that he is probably the killer. However similarity of plot aside I think this film will be worth a watch, and I am looking forward to seeing it.

The Divide 16/04/12

A quick mention for The Divide which I have heard literally nothing about other than online and am therefore not convinced that it will get a wide cinema release. However the trailer makes it look amazing. The Divide, which I would class as an apocalyptic survival horror, begins with a nuclear blast and the residents of an apartment block heading for the bunker in their basement. Some make it, others are shut out. Those who survive the blast inside the shelter must then survive each other. This also happens to be one of Michael Biehn’s more high profile films for a while and as everyone who has seen Terminator (1984, Cameron . J) or Aliens (1986, Cameron . J) knows he is a legend!