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Time Out says
Tue Apr 29 2008On Christmas Eve, a woman is drugged, dressed in sexy clothes and chased around an underground car park by a creepy security guard. French filmmakers Alexandre Aja and Grégory Levasseur, here acting as producers and writers for debut director Franck Khalfoun, continue to remodel the ’70s ‘slasher’ movie. Sadly, compared to ‘Switchblade Romance’ and ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ this is retrograde stuff, with only a few technological updates to distinguish it from its disreputable progenitors.
Lonely car park attendant Thomas (Wes Bentley) has been secretly stalking workaholic business executive Angela Bridges (Rachel Nichols), using the building’s CCTV cameras to keep a loving, watchful eye on her unhappy life. What she needs, he has concluded, is an intimate dinner for two in his tiny, festively decorated office. Angela, however, is late for a family dinner and mightily pissed off. Unfortunately, she’s chained to her chair, guarded by a vicious Rottweiler and, even when she frees herself, trapped in an unfamiliar subterranean environment.
The false equation used in slasher moves is that the sexualised humiliation of the hapless female is somehow ‘justified’ by the vengeful scenes in which she eventually turns the tables on her captor. And there’s no denying the primitive pleasure one derives from seeing Angela take on Thomas and his attack dog with her smart mind, a fire axe and an improvised flame-thrower. Even so, the early scenes leave a nasty taste in the mouth and one could drive a BMW through the myriad plot holes. Also, ‘American Beauty’ star Bentley’s actorly attempts to elicit sympathy for the misguided Thomas conflict with the sadistic manner of his inevitable dispatch.
Author: Nigel Floyd