For the first 15 minutes or so, Ryûhei Kitamura’s ‘No One Lives’ is a horror movie that you’ve seen a million times before. Our leading man (Luke Evans) is on a road trip with his two-dimensional girlfriend through Hicksville, USA. He’s such a creep – unsympathetic, sexist and charmless – that you can’t believe you’re going to have to spend 86 minutes in his company. Once the couple are kidnapped by rednecks, we realise there are actual narrative reasons behind his behaviour. And while the full picture isn’t comparable to the likes of ‘The Cabin In The Woods’ in terms of playing with the horror movie formula, it is a bit more interesting than it seems at first sight.
With plenty of gore, nudity and characters wilfully taking the stupidest option available to them at any given point, the bodies piles up thick and fast, and an array of bowie knives, darts, woodchippers, cars, guns and other paraphernalia are pressed into service. There are even some handcuffs put to a use not endorsed by Ann Summers. It’s all pretty sadistic, and you’ll be hard pushed to find anyone to cheer for.