Still of Kate Bosworth, Katie Aselton and Lake Bell in Black Rock
Sundance Film Festival
Director: Katie Aselton
What starts out as a brave comedy that isn’t afraid of offending anyone in the room quickly turns into a hackneyed horror film that follows a paint-by-numbers screenplay which eventually offends everyone in the room, but for all of the wrong reasons. When three childhood friends who’ve grown apart over the years decide to spend a weekend together camping on a remote wooded island, it would appear their lives may have taken a turn for the better, but when an accident results in the death of a random acquaintance, the girls find themselves fighting for their lives far away from civilization. With most horror films, the antagonist must instill fear into the audience or the production is a failure. Aselton does achieve a distressing tone with seclusion and an inability to escape death, but her biggest blunder comes in the form of her killer, played by Jay Paulson, who only infuses laughs rather than terror with his unbelievably campy performance. To make matters more pretentious, Aselton attempts to justify a scenario in which her main stars must romp around the island in the nude in order to survive, but, in the end, it comes across as gratuitous nudity that hasn’t been encouraged since the last Friday the 13th film, but at least they acknowledged their superficiality.