Tuesday, October 22, 2013

No One Lives


  I expected nothing more than a simple revenge flick. Maybe one of those highway thrillers with the band of deranged rednecks who hunt a simple couple to the point of a psychotic break. It's a good thing I watch movies now with next to no knowledge about them, because this movie blind sided me... and trust me, that's a good thing. With a serviceable cast, headed up by the fantastic Luke Evans, and a story full of great twists and turns, No One Lives elevates itself above and beyond a run of the mill splatterfest and becomes a rather great movie.

  I'll give you the basic shakedown of the plot. If the back of the DVD tells you any more, than whoever wrote it should be shot. Preferably by Luke Evans while he stands there looking like a badass. Anyways, the movie is about a group of criminals whose latest haul of ill gotten gain has to be abandoned for their own safety. Looking to make up for their losses, they decide to hijack the trailer, "containing all their worldly possessions..." of a couple who is moving to a new state. Suffice it to say, they did not know who they were fucking with. Seriously. The movie reels you in, in it's first half with a daunting atmosphere and some good acting by Luke Evans and his lovely counterpart. However, you're 110% hooked by the time shit starts getting crazy.

  I will say this though, the major plot twist will instantly land you in one of two categories. One, you're completely alienated. You'll likely be disgusted with the movie and find little reason to keep watching. Two, you find this twist brilliant and can't wait for the inescapable bloodbath to ensue. I can't tell you what the twist is, but your enjoyment of this movie will definitely hinge on it. This movie does not offer a clear cut protagonist. This is not the revenge flick of ye olden days. Despite the fact this has a definite exploitation sensibility about it, it's not a movie where it's easy to find the good guy and just cheer for him. You'll see why, because I wholeheartedly suggest you watch this movie. I thought it was great.

  It's equal parts slasher flick and action flick. It's impossible (provided the twist didn't turn you off) to not have a blast with this movie. Luke Evans is amazing in the role and I think he deserves way more notice for it. I thought he was a serviceable villain in Fast & Furious 6, but here his character is brought to live in such a way... it's just fantastic. The movie is not without it's fair share of shortcomings, but with all the points it's earning for sheer creativity, it's hard to fault it something serious. Also, major props go to Adelaide Clemens, who plays possibly the one balls to bone protagonist here. She holds her own in a boys club full of heavy hitting acting and some serious dramatic shit.  She may be playing a damsel in distress (of sorts) but if so, she's the kind that would make Ellen Ripley proud. 

  She's definitely a smart girl, and a fighter. She wasn't the typical wood chipper fodder that runs about in the woods until some hockey masked maniac machetes her in half. I actually liked this girl's gusto, her drive to survive was measurable in more than just how shrill and loud her scream was. Early on, she's running away from someone/something, and she cuts her foot on some glass. Rather than roll over like a wounded puppy, she pulls a motherfucking John McClane, yanks the glass out, wraps her foot, and keeps fucking running. It was then and there I knew I liked her character, and also when I knew I was in for a treat with this movie. I'm happy to say she didn't get shafted by the ending, something which horror movies seem fond of doing to their protagonists more often than not.

  Her and Luke Evans' character play off of each other brilliantly although they don't come face to face until the last act, their dynamic has been building up the whole movie, and when you see it, it sizzles. The movie has a snappy energetic pacing that kept my attention glued to screen the whole time. This may not be a typical popcorn flick, but if you roll with the punches it's so much fun. It's a gory grindhouse of a good time and I recommend it to anyone whose interest is even remotely piqued by this review. See it! 

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