Thursday, 22 July 2010



Whatever happened to the craft of character? Whatever happened to the idea that the protagonists of a movie - the good guys - should be people you should give a toss about? I'm not suggesting they should be saints, but when they're as charmless and noxious as these arsebags, it's hard not to be cheering for the maniacs and I don't believe that was the intention. You can't empathise with the victims because you hate them and want to see them die. This isn't horror, it's justice.

Why? Why is this so difficult all of a sudden? If your entire plot is that a bunch of innocents get trapped, chased and bloodily killed by ugly inbred maniacs, how difficult is it to steer audience empathy towards the innocents and away from the maniacs? On his titular Stag Night, the groom-to-be, his Neanderthal brother and two other idiots get stuck at an abandoned tube station under New York (actually Sofia, Bulgaria) with the two girls they'd already been thrown out of a nightclub for harassing, only to find themselves chased up track and down tunnel by a "family" of blood-crazed maniacs. Will any of them escape?

Frankly I was hoping not. With the pointless Friday The 13th remake a few years back, when faced with their array of drug dealers, sex maniacs and bimbos showing off their hooters at the drop of a five dollar bill, I was on Jason's side for the entire movie and wishing he'd get on with the job, and if he didn't then I'd try and climb inside the screen and do it myself. And it's the same here: I'm rooting for Team Murderer.

With its subway setting, it obviously brings Creep, The Midnight Meat Train and Death Line (Raw Meat) to mind but it's nowhere near as good as any of them. That's fundamentally down to the characterisations and the fact that there's absolutely nothing else going on in the movie other than running, shouting, screaming and dying bloodily. Admittedly, simplistic slashers with half a dozen grisly kill shots aren't necessarily a bad thing - it's the Friday The 13th formula all over again - but they're rarely as uninterestingly made as this one is; visually it's very drab. A couple of nicely splattery moments aside, it's pretty dull.


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