Well what we've got ourselves here is another one of those movies trying to cash in on the zombie comedy craze left in the wake of "Shaun of the Dead". Mildly successful in parts and frustratingly inept in others this film is basically a wash.
These days there is no real tried and true recipe for success in the zombie genre but one thing that is more overly successful is originality. The story here is (original), but does not however guarantee the film success. The dialogue is witty and funny at points and forced and feeble in others. And the characters are middle of the road as well. For some reason the soundtrack/score of the film is schizophrenic with a weird mix of low budget psychedelic ambiance, bluegrass, generic rock riffs, and classic Italian inspired horror tracks.
There's not a whole lot of violence in this film, but what little bit there is is decently done. The zombie make-up is .....well, boring.
In summation i can't really rave about or hate on this film, it just didn't really do much for me either way. sad.
4/10 detached retinas
Say what you will about the French, I like 'em! Their twisted minds have entertained me time and time again with their excellent offerings to the horror movie genre. Calvaire is anything but an exception. Merciless in its delivery, psychotic in its entirety, and just plain fucked. A weird inbred cousin of "Misery" and "Deliverance" yet still its own viciously amusing monster.
A gritty raw shooting style joined with the fact there is not a even hint of a soundtrack (although the movie isn't devoid of music) until about 5 minutes from the end, set a mood for what is a twisted ride through rural France. The cast is well chosen for their creep factor at the least (I've always wondered where these European horror directors get all these ultra creepy bit actors). And the warped way in which the story unfolds coupled along with the crazily pointless but astoundingly funny scenes strew within, made me almost giddy at points. All these things being said the horror factor actually doesnt'come from over the top gore or shock factor killing, as there is only one true victim in the entire film, it more so comes from the mental and physical torture he and the audience are meant to endure.
All in all this is not a movie for the casual horror fan, you need a certain amount of fortitude, and maybe a small dose of crazy runnin' through your veins to enjoy this one. And truly i think the whole point of these films in the first place is just to keep tourists out of Europe.......... point taken.
7.5/10 detached retinas
I'll admit first of all the only reason i even attempted to watch the movie in the first place was a fascination with a recently discovered fact that a heavy metal persona/icon (depending on who you ask) had a small role somewhere within. Turns out there were other much more worthy reasons to watch it.
The afore mentioned heavy metal persona was in fact Randy Blythe of "lamb of god" fame, and was not worth the price of admission, but the appearance of hardly recognizable (to me at least) Bill Moseley of Rob Zombie films such as "House of a 1000 Corpses" and "Devils Rejects" was probably the only worthwhile acting performance in the film, his youthlike glee with killing and psychotic ramblings are always a good watch. Tony Todd also makes an appearance but is forgettable as a preacher who just comes off as a bit of a giant feeble minded crackhead.
The storyline is well intended but poorly executed, the main characters are entirely without charisma, I wanted them to die for most of the film, and for some GODFORSAKEN reason they used animated blood spray (dealbreaker of all dealbreakers)! A few of the villain characters are entertaining and the 'Demon' (or whatever it is they worship) is intriguing although never explained. But all in all I'm kinda confused at how this director or producer or whoever was responsible got all the name support they did. All that being said I'd recommend this movie to only the diehardiest (<<<made that word up) horror movie fans.
3.5/10 detached retinas
I'm feeling the slightest bit silly that the first two movies I've decided to review have been movies i DVR'd off of the SyFy channel, but being as my netflix pix have been in flux of late I went with what I had. Surprisingly enough for being on SyFy this movie wasn't actually half bad.
The overall theme is a tried and true recipe for all hollywood plots, horror or not, a study/experiment of our "kill or be killed" nature. With one small twist, it actually is a study/experiment. Almost "Saw"like yet still fresh and almost original.
The characters are refreshingly real and diverse in personality without feeling token or forced, and the dialogue is genuine. There's almost no one I recognized in the movie except for two bit players from the cast of "Sons of Anarchy" who amusingly enough are some of the first to "leave" the film.
The effects and gore/makeup scene's be they a little drab, are believable and the characters bring enough emotion to sell the kills.
While not entirely original or unpredictable this film was a good watch that i could recomend to just about anyone.
6/10 detached retinas