Rob Zombie, the director of well-known horror movies like ‘House of 1000 Corpses‘, ‘The Devil’s Rejects‘, and ‘Halloween‘ brings another slasher horror movie that is quite similar in directing to his first ones. With delivering nothing new to the slasher genre, we get a movie that has only two enjoyable parts in it – the main villain (Doom-Head) and few scenes that were beautifully shot.
Halloween 1976. A group of people that are carnival workers are traveling in an RV to their next venue. During their way they are stopped and attacked by unknown assailants, with only leaving few alive – Charly (Sheri Moon Zombie), Venus (Meg Foster), Panda (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs), Levon (Kevin Jackson), and Roscoe (Jeff Daniel Phillips). They’re taken to a large building, where three strangers force them to play “31”. For 12 hours they must survive through set of rooms where they are attacked by several people whose main goal is to torture them and kill them. If they survive through the 12 horror filled hours they will be set free.
The movie starts off with a great monologue from Doom-Head (Richard Brake – ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Spy’), a scene that is the highlight of this movie – beautifully shot and introduced us to one crazy character who you will enjoy seeing on the screen. Richard Brake did a wonderful job in playing this character and his performance was the best from all the actors in this movie (not counting Malcolm McDowell because he is always awesome and he didn’t get that much screen time).
The most passive performance in this movie was by Rob Zombie’s wife Sheri Moon Zombie – I just was laughing at her weird reactions on the screen and it looked like her performance was wooden and lazy. With again putting his wife in the lead role (others being ‘House of 1000 Corpses‘, ‘The Lords of Salem‘ and many more) it didn’t help the movie be better. Sometimes you should go for more talented actress not your wife. Other actor performances were not that memorable. They were sometimes annoying and I didn’t care if they live or die.
We get some weird (in a good way) characters (bad guys) that at the beginning looked good but later lost their impact on me. Like the Nazi dwarf that is speaking Spanish (Why the hell a Nazi is speaking Spanish?) – he was fun to watch at the beginning but later got dull; clowns that aren’t scary but brainless and few other characters that were not that important. A horror movie from Rob Zombie where not that much thought is given to the characters and their development.
As a slasher, this movie gives us blood and does only that. With sometimes delivering a chilling atmosphere that might scare you a little bit but the movie doesn’t frighten you with good thought out scares but throws you a lot of blood on the screen and hopes that it will panic you like that. For an independent film (crowdfunded at fanbacked.com), the cinematography looked really beautiful and was a delight but those scenes were so little that you forget them in the chaos. As a slasher it does what all other slashers do – some actions of the characters are illogical and you think: “Why don’t you use your brain?”.
Overall the movie is good for one thing – If you wish to see one character that is scary, I am talking about Doom-Head then you will enjoy ‘31‘ but if you are hoping to see anything else like scary moments (unless you like blood), you won’t get it in this movie. Rob Zombie has created one great character but not a well-made slasher movie.
Running time: 102 minutes; Distributed by: Saban Films;
Directed by: Rob Zombie; Produced by: Rob Zombie, Mike Elliott, Andy Gould, Michael Sherman, Matthew Perniciaro, Eddie Vaisman, Craig Walendziak; Written by: Rob Zombie; Cinematography: David Daniel; Music: John 5; Edited by: Glenn Garland;
Starring: Sheri Moon Zombie, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Meg Foster, Richard Brake, Malcolm McDowell, Judy Geeson, and many more.