A story about Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski, a talented strategist who became not only privy to the most heavily guarded strategic plans of the Warsaw Pact in the 1970s, but in fact drew up ... See full summary »
William E. Odom
The plot centers around two estranged sisters, Lara and Monica, who along with some friends go out to the countryside to play airsoft. They stumble across the hideout of three ex soldiers who have been using the area as their own hunting ground. The soldiers then decide to pick them off, one at a time. So I got this flick on mail order mainly because it's about some guys playing airsoft, which is a real hobby of mine and because Im a big fan of the stalker slasher genre. I was hoping to see some cool battle scenes and these kids pitting their skills against some hardened soldiers and some good old fashioned slashing. The airsoft scene at the start is pretty cool, and the director did a great job catching the frenetic pace of the game. It was good to see that the actors that were meant to have been really good at the game were well versed in the proper techniques and gave their characters a sense of authenticity. The film is more than just a slasher though. In fact I was surprised to find that it was a bit smarter than that, and two of the deaths apart, it isn't actually very gory at all. What it is very good at though is creating a level of tension and unease early on and wracking it up as the film continues. The mood of the film is very haunting, which is achieved through the stunning visuals and the beautiful soundtrack. It's very clever how as the film uses the soft, delicate music is in such stark contrast to the violence on screen. The hand-held style in which the film is shot pulls you into the story and makes it feel very believable. This is obviously also helped by some very strong performances from the largely unknown cast. Stephanie Chapman Baker and Neil Linpow are especially good as the two main characters and it's their slow burning romance set against the horrors around them that gives the film some real heart. The soldiers all look the part, and do a fantastic job with their limited dialogue. It is in fact Michael Lutz who gives the stand out performance as Uncle, the leader of the three. His face is so worn and tells us everything in a look. I am a little disappointed that the back stories of the soldiers were not explored, as I think that it would have added an extra dimension to the film had we known more about who these guys were and how they had become so bitter and twisted. That is one of the main problems with the film. The script is at times a bit clunky, and the story doesn't really take us in any new directions, in fact it's pretty generic. It would have been nice to see some twists and turns. There is one shock early on when the first character is killed, but after that it just seems to follow a well beaten path up to it's conclusion. That said, it does this well, and keeps you entertained and pretty taut throughout. I think that Cosimo Alema on the back of this will go on to make better films, but this is a really solid debut.
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