Any potential spoilers in my reviews must be highlighted to be visible.
The Good -
* the class horror premise
* the acting
* the make-up and effects
* the threat
The Bad (or just not so good) -
* the morbid tone (but mostly because we were hoping for "scary")
Okay. Here we have a horror flick, so I'm kinda grading on a curve.
This movie had what I describe, above, as a "classic" story premise: an unsuspecting, somewhat typical group of people gets lost in a rough environment and are threatened by the horribly disfigured.
Nothing wrong with that, really.
The acting was top-notch. These were real actors, here - many of them very familiar faces.
Ted Levine, who's a regular on "Monk" and was "Buffalo Bill" in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, plays "Big Bob," the patriarch of the group.
Kathleen Quinlan was the wife and mother.
Aaron Stanford, of the X-Men movies, Tadpole, and many others, apparently, rounded out the cast.
The characters may not have made the smartest choices, but the actors who portrayed them, including the lesser-known thespians, completely sold themselves AS these poor and/or deranged souls.
The story took a little longer to get going, than we would've preferrred. Once it did, it soon became clear that there was a different tone to this particular horror movie, than one might expect.
You may be wondering how "morbid" could possibly be a bad thing for a horror movie, but I guess it has to do with the fact that this movie didn't scare us so much as it creeped us out.
A lot of America has something of a double-standard when it comes to categorizing shocking, horrible behavior. In this case, there were elements to which we'd long-since been desensitized and then there were elements that just made us feel bad for these folks.
Also, there's the fact that the movie wavered between the kind of horror that you laugh at and the kind that makes people cry.
I can't say that our reaction was the fault of the filmmakers, though. After all, expectations can really color people's perceptions.
No, not really, although it was mostly entertaining.
If you wanna take a wild ride, this movie may fit the bill, but be prepared for it to cross a certain line that you may or may not be comfortable with.
If you have or when you do see this movie, let me know what you think.