Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Review: No One Lives (2012)

no one lives film poster

The opening credit for WWE Studios initially filled me with dread. After See No Evil (2006), not a particularly terrible film but also nothing special, and their other wrestler-led output I didn't hold much hope for this one. Fortunately, this isn't just a vehicle for their franchise, but is actually an entertaining piece of splatter cinema.
no one lives
An unnamed driver (Luke Evans) and a beautiful girl check into a hotel in the middle of nowhere, and soon catch the attention of a group of thuggish criminals, whose simple house raid earlier didn't go too well (the owners arrived home early and were blasted away). Meanwhile, the TV is full of reports of a missing girl.
It would actually be unfair to reveal too much about what follows to preserve some surprises, but I have noticed many reviews have not bothered with this caution, and, indeed, the DVD artwork features Evans wielding a crossbow, so I imagine it's safe to say the gang have bitten off more than they can chew when it comes to messing with the mysterious one...
no one lives
No One Lives is a cut above the usual horror fare we have become accustomed to (or have to put up with) - it's gory kills are inventive, shocking and fun; and the practical effects stand out, especially compared to the CGI splatters also seen here. However, there are still some flaws. The dialogue is very clunky at times; characters resorting to shouting inane things at each other, and a Reservoir Dogs reference is less a nod, more like theft, but there's enough twists and turns to keep the interest, and some shocking surprises along the way too.
no one lives
Only one wrestler makes an appearance, George Murdoch (whose ring name is Brodus Clay apparently - I don't follow the "sport") and he is soon dispatched, but is used to great effect - you'll see what I mean.
It's not going to top any "best of" lists, but it's by no means a bad film. Taken with a large amount of salt, it's a fun ride which at least on first viewing should provide at least one or two surprises among its crimson vision.
no one livesno one lives

Director Ryuhei Kitamura also brought Clive Barker's blood soaked The Midnight Meat Train (2008) to the screen; with a mute Vinnie Jones in the lead, and that was flawed but fun too. Hopefully the Japanese director will keep improving, and provide a film to top his earlier work, Versus (2000). Until then, No One Lives will suffice.
7 out of 10

1 comment:

  1. I think Kitamura did a great job with No One Lives. The kills are inventive and gory, but it's also enjoyable and entertaining, and Driver is amusing with the menace. Loved this film!