Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Cellar Door

Depressing, Dire, Fare, 25 July 2010

Author: gary-444 from United Kingdom

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is the Directorial debut for Matt Zettell, and Christopher Nelson's first screenplay- and it shows. There is a rich and honourable tradition of " captured women at the mercy of depraved men", but this does nothing to add to it. The premise is fine, and familiar. A loner pervert abducts young women for lewd purposes. But crucially, beyond that, Zettell loses his way.

It isn't a sexploitation movie. There is no overt sexual violence and hardly any nudity, so voyeurs will be disappointed. This isn't a standard "slash & splash" movie, the body count is too low. Nor is it a psychological thriller, the Direction and writing isn't good enough. The shame is that the two lead actors, abductor Herman, (James Dumont(, and abductee , Rudy, (Michelle Tomlinson), do a decent job with what they have, which isn't very much.

There are some decent scenes, the pre opening credits chase across a deserted storm drain is solid, the supermarket scenes where Herman buys self consciously for his captive well observed if under exploited, and the dispatch of some pesky Jehovas witnesses quite amusing. But overall it is a long 85 minutes.

The film's flaw is that Zettell does not know what to do with the story. The characterisation is weak, so we don't really bond with any of the characters. Herman's creepy and perverted desires are not played on enough, and the violence requires a level of suspension of disbelief in the final act which is laughable. This film really is not very good.


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