We can’t wait for cinemas to reopen but for the time being ESP’s film reviewer Gavin Miller continues to keep an eye on the best the small screen has to offer…
It’s very rare that you actually get a reboot that is better than the original – and this refreshingly takes a horror franchise in a more adventurous direction.
Yes, it once again has the usual slasher trope of a group of (this time from New Jersey) teenagers – three couples Jen (Charlotte Vega) and Darius (Adain Bradley), Milla (Emma Dumont) and Adam (Dylan McTee), and Gary (Vardaan Arora) and Luis (Adrian Favela) – getting lost in a wooded outback, but this time what they encounter aren’t the usual incestuous super-human cannibalistic southern ‘hicks’ – despite a few likenesses – but something a bit more refined for the current era.
When the sixsome arrive in a small town in rural Virginia to hike the Appalachian Trial, local residents warn them to not venture off the marked route. But shock, horror, they obviously do (looking for a monument), and they start to get tracked by a posse of animal skull-wearing, bow and arrow-weaponed, primitive humans known as ‘The Foundation’.
And when one of these weird Neanderthal-looking locals is beaten to death by a member of the scared teenage crew, they are rounded up and taken to a secret settlement – which has been there since before the Civil War and bears more of a resemblance to The Vikings than anything else – where they meet the Bill Sage’s well-educated (in a primitive sense) leader Venable.
But here they make their own laws – with harsh and swift punishments from the Dark Ages – and that sadly isn’t good news for what is left of this group of hikers.
But all is not lost, with Jen’s Dad Scott (Full Metal Jacket’s Matthew Modine) starting to piece together the mystery after not hearing from his daughter in six weeks – as he gets closer to tracking them down.
And despite some glaring plot holes – like why this community has never been located despite swathes of tourists going missing in the region – this really does offer more than the average lazy remake, by ‘changing up’ the premise somewhat.
It’s just as gory as the decent 2003 original (and pretty horrible sequels), and offers a few ‘indie’ type twists – like you’ll see when the end credits roll.
But more than anything it’s an always engaging horror that has some noteworthy edge-of-your-seat sequences – so if you’re a slasher fan it’s the right move to make a wrong turn this time round.
Platform: Amazon Prime
Cast: Charlotte Vega, Matthew Modine, Adain Bradley, Dylan Mctee, Emma Dumont, Daisy Head, Vardaan Arora, Adrian Favela & Bill Sage
Running Time: 1 Hr 49 Mins
Director: Mike P Nelson