Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Storm Warning - 4/5

Despite the director's previous Horror outing "Urban Legend" and its teen focused friendliness, some pretty praise worthy critiques from the usual genre fans made "Storm Warning" only my list of film's to see. What "Storm Warning" brings us is a tidy little homage film dedicated to those 'killer family' Horror films (the likes of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "The Hills Have Eyes") that isn't necessarily a unique watch, but a very intense and well crafted ride.

A couple, Rob (Taylor) and his wife Pia (Fares) find themselves lost in the Australian boonies after their fishing trip on a little boat goes somewhat awry. When they stumble upon some true backwoods pot farmers with little in the way of hygiene and lots in the way of fucked up, they realize that their chances for survival may depend on how low they are willing to sink with their morals. And if they are willing to kill their captors. With a massive storm pouring outside and a bigger one building inside, this couple will be pushed to the limits to find out that in the outback there is more than the elements out to get you.

All right. Its easy to admit that "Storm Warning" isn't the most original film out there. Yeah, if you have seen any kind of backwoods human depravity kind of film you know exactly where this film is going from the first few minutes. You know the plot and honestly, it doesn't do a whole lot to throw twists into it. A few little things here and there, but nothing too drastic. Never does it feel like a rip-off though and that counts for something.

What makes "Storm Warning" the fun and intense watch that it was, was its execution of these elements. With its superbly acted cast (of seriously like five people, that's it), its slick production look, and visual voracity, this film really cakes on its craftsmanship to counterbalance its rather cliche plot.  Our two leads are very convincing of their hardships (with a nice little role reversal in the third act) and the baddies are despicably gross and believably insane. The setting adds solid atmosphere to the film with this hodge podge farm and the intense weather and director Jamie Blanks amicably puts on a visual show with his use of light/dark,  nightmarish angles, and duel use of silence and intense sound bombardment. His style matches the unnerving quality of the performances nicely. Hell, he even did the electronic like score to the film which adds a modern layer to the chaos well.

"Storm Warning" may not have been a first in any way, shape, or form but its pay off from character build and performances (on and off camera) make it one of the better modern Horror films out there. This film is one helluva ride into backwoods territory and its worth every investment of time.

BONUS RANT: One random element that popped up that tripped me out was the use of the baby kangaroo (or was it a wallaby, it slips my mind right now). At first its definitely a 'what the fuck' moment, but its end pay out is substantially disturbing. After wards, I still felt like it was pretty random but at the time man did it work for the overall feel.  Solid work for the director on making that element actually worth its time in the film.

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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