Hailed as the new dawn of Italian horror, Federico Zampaglione’s chronically uneven movie aims to frustrate audience expectations, but succeeds only in disappointing them. David (Jake Muxworthy), a battle-fatigued American soldier on leave after a tough tour of duty in Iraq, takes a mountain biking holiday in the Alps. There he meets a beautiful Italian woman, Angeline (Karina Testa from ‘Frontiers’), and ends up being chased by a pair of cor blimey British hunters, who’ve seen ‘Deliverance’ too many times. It’s very predictable up to this point – but then hunters and prey are captured and taken to an underground lair by the pallid, stick-thin Mortis (Nuot Arquint). Their captor likes watching films of wartime atrocities, licking the hallucination-inducing slime from poisonous toads and torturing strangers. All of which makes a lot more sense than the ridiculous, tacked-on ending, which shifts into ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ territory in the hope of making a profound statement about man’s innate capacity for sadistic violence.
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