Friday, August 9, 2013

No One Lives (2012) - Come for the Gore!

I get a fair number of requests to review movies I've never heard of or haven't received much hype. It's a crap shoot. You have no idea which movies will be any good. Marketing companies have become so good at creating trailers that turn movies into whatever they want to be. You can make an action picture a horror classic or romantic comedy a deep seeded emotional drama. It's hard to pick out which movies are going to hit and which movies are going to be a complete waste of time with low production and of course not live up to expectation. The beautiful part about No One Lives is that I didn't know what to expect. I pick the trailers I watch. Sometimes I want to be surprised and with No One Lives I didn't want to ruin any surprises. The cover has a guy with a crossbow on it, the premise is sound but open to horror or suspense thriller, and it hasn't been getting a tremendous amount of hype. It's great to be able to enjoy a movie this much with so little expectation and to be given the opportunity to help get your ass in the seat.

Synopsis from Anchor Bay:

A ruthless criminal gang takes a young couple hostage and goes to ground in an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. When the captive girl is killed, the tables are unexpectedly turned. The gang finds themselves outsmarted by an urbane and seasoned killer determined to ensure that no one lives. 

Sounds simple enough right? What do you expect from a synopsis like this? I was thinking the lone killer mentally tortures a pile of criminals who have no idea what to suspect from  a complete stranger. This stranger is normally a weakling but thrives on the satisfaction of revenge. The film would be filled with a bunch of very dark scenes with little blood and a lot of jump scares. That was completely off base. 

No One Lives is a gore fest. When it kicks in you'll be cheering at the screen and waiting for the next splatter to hit the ground (yes... hit the ground). There's a variety of kills, creative and standard but all with an extra helping of Karo Syrup and gush. It's fast paced, so you won't have to wait long for it to turn on. It's bloody and gutty from start to finish. You'll grow to love your killer and his victims which will make choosing a side somewhat difficult (a rarity in this type of picture). It's nice to be able to root for either side and feel satisfied either way. I chose to root for the killer because of his expertise in letting the effects guys have a good time. 

No One Lives isn't for everyone. Director Ryuhei Kitamura has seen to it that this is a movie for people who like a good scare and a good gross out though I believe the emphasis is on the gross out. It's a clever tale that isn't obvious but won't leave you scratching your head for too long. Well balanced and good casting. The pace is upbeat and at just under 90 minutes in run time, you can rewind it when it's done to focus on the gore. What more could I have expected from the great mind that brought us Midnight Meat Train. That's one of my favorite movies to show unsuspecting non-horror people to make them toss their cookies. 

I'm glad to recommend this release and hope you have a bloody good time with it. You can pick it up on Blu-ray/DVD or DVD August 20th.


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