** (Two stars)
In lieu of review, I’ve recapped a conversation with a friend summing up my impressions:
Friend: Hey, bro, how was the movie?
Me: The structure was really basic. The title sequence provides basic historical context, setting up a story of these disparate late-twenties/early-thirties couples, one woman with a dark past, etc. It’s predictable enough that you’re just waiting for carnage.
Friend: Total body count?
Me: Dude, crossbow arrow right through the cheeks, pickax to the jugular, cannibalism—oh, and someone who lands headfirst on a bear trap. The special-effects makeup was pretty good, but there was this one scene they used computer imaging for the blood. That totally ruined it.
Friend: Awesome. And this takes place in Australia?
Me: Yeah, but not the outback. Tasmanian forests. The lead girl’s sister was searching for this extinct tiger but turned up dead. It’s a mysterious death, the last town where she was seen is filled with secrets, yadda yadda yadda.
Friend: Who’s in it?
Me: The dude from Snakes on a Plane, for one.
Friend: The guy that gets bit in the dick by the snake?
Me: Nah, the surfer guy they have to protect. His character is the aggro-macho dude—a foil to the calm pacifist boyfriend of the leading lady. He shoots a bunny with a crossbow and plays with it as it twitches.
—Atsuhiro Saisho, designer
[This is a TONY staff review, written for the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. It is not considered an official review and should not be read as such. Please think of it as a casual impression from a movie-loving friend.]