Sunday, February 2, 2014

Scorned (Anchor Bay Blu-ray): Hell Hath No Fury Like Being Bored!

There used to be a time when Billy Zane being in a movie actually meant something. No I'm not referring to a boat sized Titanic fetish. I'm thinking back to the days of Demon Knight. Now THAT was a horror movie worth giving a fuck about. Fast forward some twenty years to Scorned, the new Mark Jones picture with Zane, Annalynne McCord and Viva Bianca on screen. We have come quite a way and it isn't down the path of least resistance but the path of most unfortunate. Sometimes Scorn scorns you.

Synopsis from Anchor Bay:

Sadie (AnnaLynne McCord; ‘Excision’) and Kevin (Billy Zane; ‘Titanic’) have decided to spend a romantic weekend together at his lake house. But when an unexpected – and unfortunate – text from her best friend Jennifer (Viva Bianca; “Spartacus: War of the Damned”) to Kevin reveals a lurid love affair between the two, Sadie spirals into a hunger for revenge that is without mercy

While I dislike painting a picture of Scorned so bleak as to render it unwatchable it truly doens't have much going for it. Rather than completely blindside you with negativity let's talk about the little bit that works. If you like down and dirty semi-redneck girlies chomping at the bit to chop up their boyfriends then this movie might appeal to you. Our lead actress is a psycho and plays a psycho as I have sen psychos played, but unfortunately goes so far over the top as to render her performance unbelievable. There's a mix of white trash and polished redneck with valley girl slut that feels like you're watching a fictionalized reality TV star narrating her revenge story against her cheating man. It isn't real. It doesn't feel real, but some of the revenge tactics are at least fun with nods to other horror pictures (I'm looking at you Kathy Bates).

The ending is obvious and some of the effects/makeup is better served for high school drama club performances of the new musical the Faces of Death. Nothing looks or feels real and not in that classic cheese of late 80's latex. These guys tried to make as serious, murder/revenge piece with hints of playfulness and ended up make a too flashy, uncomplex work of antithrills. By 29 minutes into the movie I thought I was at the end. By 50 minutes I was done. By the end of the movie, I thought I had started watching the goddamn sequel.

I'd like to be telling you that Zane is a star, renewing his horror self and giving you a bad ass performance, but he's wimpy and pathetic. He never has the chance to win the day and that makes his character flat and the narrative meaningless. Viva Bianca is actually enjoyable in her role as mistress de Zane, but again, not strong enough to ever feel like  threat to the antagonist's vengeance. Once again, we don't care about our victims, we can't root for our killer. There's nothing on screen to amuse us, but not even a modest budget can save a killer an invisibility complex that is unfantastic but written to win without really trying.

You can give Scorned a shot if you're a fan of revenge flicks without rape, but expect an experiment in torture porn lite without effects to even make you grow a big rubbery one. Scorned releases Feb 4th. 

-Doc Terror

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