Sunday, June 12, 2011

Horror Film Review

Subject Two (2006):  What an odd little movie this is.  It's a zombie flick of sorts, although not enough so as to garner the usual exclamation points.  Compared with Plaga Zombie, however, this endeavor is a masterstroke of cinematic creation.

Med student Adam (Christian Oliver) receives an offer via email to conduct some interesting, if not vague, research.  He travels to a remote house high in the mountains and meets Doctor Vick (Dean Stapleton), who, after a short meet and greet, strangles him.  Adam eventually comes back to life, seemingly normal and not terribly upset that he's just been murdered.  Instead, he's intrigued.  Vick's got some reviving super-juice (there's also nanotechnology involved but I won't dwell).  Adam's body soon goes into sensory overload so Vick has to kill him over and over again in an attempt to fix the problem.  In the end, the doc severs all neural connections so Adam can't feel anything.  Sounds like a recipe for making someone bat-shit crazy, doesn't it?

This film isn't so much horror as suspense, the kind of suspense that claws at the inside of your skull and lives under your skin.  What I liked the most, though, was that I hadn't the slightest clue what would happen next.  Movies that don't follow the rules rock.  And the twist at the end?  Never saw it coming.  You won't either.  I double-dog dare you.  One last thing:  Dean Stapleton spookily resembles a young Jack Nicholson.  It sort of freaked me out for a while.

The Breakdown

Acting:  Most of the film, about 99.7% of it, features just Oliver and Stapleton, and these guys are good.  Very subdued and subtle.  Quite effective. 
Story:  Not like anything I've ever seen.  Taut, tense, and trippy.  (Yes, I just said trippy.)
Direction:  Odd.  The pace is so laid back, but at the same time super suspenseful.
Production Values:  You can't go wrong when you film at a cabin snuggled within an alpine forest on a gorgeous, snow-capped mountain range.
Gore/FX:  There's some ickiness, make no mistake, but not outside the parameters of the story. 
Scares:  No jumps, just creepiness.
The Ending:  One of the best I've ever seen.  It's a "No way!" kind of ending.  Excellent!
The Verdict:  Should you see Subject Two?  Yep.  It's not full of breathless action, but it's definitely worth your time.

My Rating4 out of 5 stars.

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