Thursday, July 18, 2013

Film Review: Sweatshop (2009)

Sweatshop (Review)
United States/2009
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes 

A group of friends break into an abandoned warehouse to throw a party. As they set-up the presumably massive party, they feel an eerie presence and are picked off one by one by a huge sledgehammer-wielding figure, along with some demonic-looking women.

The story is very basic. There is no backstory or explanation to the beasts within the warehouse. They seem to be lurking the warehouse without consequence; I mean, they kill a cop in the introduction and there is no response afterward - a pointless intro, indeed. The characters are hollow and bland - only one character really has spunk and she's unfortunately underutilized. So, the characters are basically setting up a party and drinking, when they suddenly get brutally killed. And, it continues to repeat this formula. The final slaughter was great... until you realize every person in the party could've escaped as they were standing right next to the massive exit. And so, the generic character escapes as originally predicted, and the credits roll.

The story uses some jump-scares, but they are poorly timed and lack suspense, so they are ineffective. The film relies on its gritty look and its gore to be considered in the horror genre. I wasn't scared, however. The gore effects were insane and over-the-top, and the story builds up a large body count with creative kills. Gorehounds will not be disappointed by the viciousness in Sweatshop. In fact, if you're solely interested in the gore, skip the horrendous first act (30min or so) and enjoy the slaughter.

The acting ranges from mediocre to terrible. Most of the dialogue and dialogue delivery is terrible. It's very unnatural and robotic; it's either cringe-worthy or laughable. None of the actors emit any charisma or likable features, except for Jennifer Jean Guhlin (Julin). Again, for gorehunds, you may be able to forgive the terrible acting. The editing and screen direction is sloppy; the close-up shots of the demonic women were clearly shot afterward and clumsily edited into scenes. The cinematography creates a dark look, but it is often too dark and bland; there really wasn't much cinematography going on.

The special effects are great. The gory kills are creative, versatile, and effective. The sledgehammer-wielding madman literally obliterates bodies with a single swing, he rips jaws off, smashes heads into the floors or walls, cuts fingers off, and much more. Like I said previously, the body count is huge, so there are alot impressive special effects. The kills become very consistent during the second half of the film, and the gore redeems the film a bit. I also like the design of the main beast with the sledgehammer, he reminded me of Silent Hill 2's Pyramid Head.

Overall, Sweatshop is an incomplete horror film; no character or backstory, no scares or suspense, and a weak ending; on top of that, the film suffers from poor acting, editing, and screen direction. The film is redeemed by the massive kill count, the very impressive gore effects and makeup, and the awesomely-designed villains. I recommend streaming before paying directly to rent or purchase.

Score: 4/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore, nudity and sex. (one brief sex scene)

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