Monday, May 26, 2014

Film Review: Buried Alive

Buried Alive (Review)
United States/2007
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Streaming
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...nothing really happens during most of the film."

Wanting to visit his old family home, Zane (Terence Jay) invites his cousin, Rene (Leah Rachel), and a group of friends to the old, secluded cabin...

Buried Alive is your typical run of the mill slasher. The characters consist of the generic tropes we've come to hate, or occasionally love: douchebag off his meds, douchebag just to be a douchebag, computer geek introvert, and a few loose sorority girls. This cast of characters show up at the cabin's caretaker's trailer, Lester (Tobin Bell) -- creepy old guy -- and he tells them not to do specific things. Fast forward five minutes and they do the same thing they were told not to do. Anyway, there are some interesting aspects of the story, it turns out Zane has a dark family history and he and his friends are being targeted by a malicious, axe-wielding spirit. And, eventually, she kills some people. It ends just as you'd expect -- meh.

Buried Alive is generic. I've got that point across, right? Furthermore, nothing really happens during most of the film. Generic is bad on its own, but it's even worse when nothing happens. A generic slasher can be saved by great suspense, gory visuals, and actual horror. Surprisingly, Buried Alive has very little of each. The suspense and tension is minimal, the gore, albeit good, is limited to two scenes, and there are a few jump-scares spread throughout. The antagonist is underused until the end. And, the ending becomes your typical run-and-hide slasher. There isn't much life in Buried Alive; it kept me interested, but never really hooked me or satisfied my thirst for horror.

The acting is B-movie from most of the cast. Terence Jay plays a very generic character, but he seems miscast -- he feels out of place. Tobin Bell is great, despite his limited screen time, as the creepy and perverted caretaker. Otherwise, the film is simply serviceable; serviceable cinematography, serviceable soundtrack, and so on. The gore effects were very limited and even disappointing; the over-the-top scenes were cool and all, but this is no throwback to the age of practical gore effects. Director Robert Kurtzman disappoints in both direction and special effects; the same man that brought us Wishmaster in all its gory glory brings us a toned down, bland, and uncreative slasher.

Overall, Buried Alive is a bad slasher. The generic story and annoying cliché characters could've been overlooked if everything else was exceptional, but it's not; the horror is very poorly constructed and limited. A few exceptional gore sequences,or more just like two, can't save the film.

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore, sex and nudity.

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