Sunday, October 6, 2013
Black Rock (2013)(Minor Spoilers Review)
**This review contains MINOR spoilers, no major surprises, or twists are revealed in this review**
In an attempt to heal some old wounds, Sarah (Kate Bosworth), Abby (Katie Aselton), and Lou (Lake Bell) take a trip to a remote island off the coast of Maine. After crossing paths with three deer hunters named Henry (Will Bouvier), Derek (Jay Paulson), and Alex (Anslem Richardson), the trio agrees to share the island with no resistance. But after a seemingly harmless campfire gathering, the friendly vacation takes a turn for the worst. And with no communications to the outside world, Sarah, Abby, and Lou are forced to fight for their lives.
Funny, I thought Kate Bosworth would provide the best performance (going by the trailers) here. Instead, it’s a toss up between Aselton (who also directed the movie) and Bell. Not saying Bosworth was bad or anything like that, but she’s overshadowed by Aselton and Bell. Aselton’s Abby is an annoying whiner, who complains about everything at first, but as the movie progresses, Aselton’s Abby emerges as the leader in the pack. Aselton is fearless, as a more aggressive version of Abby, and she brought some believable intensity to this character. Bell is able to feed off of Aselton’s performance as Lou. Lou is the more fragile member of the trio, so Abby has to push the courage out of her. Still, Bell deserves a lot of credit for being able to pull off the transformation, as Lou breaks out of her shell to become a scrappy fighter, who won’t quit.
It’s too bad the male side of the cast can’t match the quality of the performances from Bell, Aselton, and Bosworth. Of course, it’s easy to have feelings of anger for their despicable actions, BUT the actual performances from Bouvier, Paulson, and Richardson are mediocre at best. That’s one of my bigger pet peeves for Black Rock: when you compare the women to the men, the painfully obvious imbalance for the quality of performances is impossible to ignore.
I’ll admit, this one took me by surprise, but Black Rock isn’t without its problems. First of all, WHY would you trust three creepy guys you don’t know on a remote island? Unfortunately, Black Rock features a few stupid character decisions, and it’s a shame, because without them, Black Rock could’ve been a much better film.
Still, I really enjoyed Black Rock. Black Rock is a bloody and gritty tale of survival, friendship, forgiveness, and with the help of some strong performances from Bell and Aselton (especially Aselton), you can really feel the heartbreak and misery from the main characters, as they‘re forced to endure and outsmart the hunters. Black Rock isn’t a groundbreaking entry in the survival horror genre, but at the same time, Black Rock isn’t some unbearable and frustrating abomination. Believe me, that’s saying a lot, when you compare Black Rock to other awful survival style horror films (i.e. Wolf Creek, A Perfect Getaway, The Divide, and those shitty straight-to-video Wrong Turn films).
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