Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Film Review: Asylum Blackout (aka The Incident) (2011)

Asylum Blackout (aka The Incident) (Review)
France/2011
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...effectively suspenseful and violent..."


The crew of an asylum for the criminally insane find themselves trapped when a storm causes a power outage and the inmate begin rioting...

Asylum Blackout follows George (Rupert Evans), a cook at the Sans Asylum, as well as his friends and coworkers, Max (Kenny Doughty) and Ricky (Joseph Kennedy). The trio play in a band together, but have had trouble pushing their musical careers due to the constant banter and other intimate relationships. Anyway, while working at the asylum, the power goes out, which traps everyone due to the electronic locks on the doors. The group try to keep control by locking the inmates in their rooms, but some rowdy inmates pounce on the opportunity. So, the fight for survival begins. The film leads to an ambiguous ending, open to more than one interpretation. Personally, I felt it was unnecessary and unjustified.

Asylum Blackout is a very good horror film. Although the environment is usually dark, I loved the setting of this film. The concept is also very interesting – it reminded me of Manhunt 2 for some reason. Thankfully, the execution is also great. There are a few jump-scares here and there, but most of the film relies on its moderate suspense and violence. The suspense was great, really keeping me engaged from beginning to end. I've seen some violent films in my time. This one isn't necessarily the most violence, but some scenes actually caught me by surprise. I don't think it was gratuitous, either – at least most of the time. I wasn't really a big fan of the ending, though. I love twists and turns, but this one felt like an ending for another film.

The acting is good. Rupert Evans delivers a great performance as the leading man – he doesn't sound very sincere when he's shouting, but he's good. The supporting cast can be stiff here and there, but nothing horrendous. The film is shot well, especially for a film that takes place mostly in the dark. (The Woman in Black 2 is an example of a film that was too dark in terms of lighting.) The setting could have had more personality, but I love getting out of the house in horror films. I don't remember much of the music, to be honest. The special effects were great, though. The film is directed by Alexandre Courtes and written by S. Craig Zahler. The writing is fairly simple, but it gets the job done. Courtes crafts an effective horror film through the use of suspense and shock scenes.

Overall, Asylum Black is a very good horror movie. I went in completely blind for this film and I was often surprised. The story is a bit simple, but it works with the concept. I wasn't a big fan of the ending, though. Otherwise, I was entertained It's an effectively suspenseful and violent horror film. If you love gory slashers, I think you'll enjoy this one.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore, some nudity.

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