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Flick is less a remake, reboot or re-imagining than basically just a woods set movie using a familiar title. The story opens with a concerned father (Matthew Modine) entering a small, rural, mountain town to find his daughter Jen (Charlotte Vega), who has gone missing. We then travel back six weeks to find Jen and her five friends (Adain Bradley, Emma Dumont, Dylan McTee, Adrian Favela and Vardaan Arora) in that same town and having a bit of a problem with some locals in a bar. While camping the next day, the group fatally encounter traps in the woods and soon a group of animal pelt and skull wearing people. In a mistake of intent, they kill one and now they are taken prisoner by “The Foundation” a society of pagan-like mountain folk who don’t tolerate intruders and want to put them on trial for their crime…and then it gets weird.

New franchise flick is directed by Mike P. Nelson (The Domestics) from a script by original Wrong Turn writer Alan B. McElroy. To sum it up, it’s as if M Night Shyamalan directed a backwoods set The Hills Have Eyes only with weird Nordic Pagans instead of redneck cannibals. Those expecting our obnoxious city folk to become happy meals, will themselves be a bit unhappy. There is still some very gruesome violence, as some of the group pay dearly for their transgressions on Foundation land. This is also where it takes a Shyamalan twist…and looses it’s grip…as the survivors are forced to make a choice of a horrible fate called “darkness” or join The Foundation. We then travel forward six weeks with Jen’s dad (Modine) going after The Foundation to rescue his daughter. It gets even weirder here, but also falls apart, as it’s just too ridiculous for it’s own good. There is a lot of bloodshed and it comes to a screwed up ending, that extends into the end credits. After what we’ve sat through, though, why not? Overall, there is an appreciation for trying something new and there are some effective moments and some disturbing ones. The cast perform well and Vega makes a solid heroine, but maybe it’s a bit too M. Night (circa The Village) when it could should have stayed more Tobe Hooper (circa Chainsaw).

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1-2 star rating



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