No One Lives (Review)

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NO ONE LIVES

Ryuhei Kitamura director of “Versus” and “The Midnight Meat Train” returns here with his latest American horror film “No One Lives”. The film stars Luke Evans (Clash Of The Titans, Immortals) Adelaide Clemens (Silent Hill Revelation) Derek Magyar and America Olivo. A gang of ruthless criminals and psychopaths kidnap a wealthy couple in the hope of extracting money from them. What they don’t know, is that all is not as it seems with the couple travelling across the country looking for a fresh start.

This has a really cool cast of actors/actresses with varying degrees of experience. Lee Tergesen (The Collection), who plays “Hoag” the boss of the gang, did a great job of the role. Derek Magyar as “Flynn” eventually takes on that role and is just as solid. Olivo as “Tamara”, Beau Knapp as “Denny” and Lindsey Shaw as “Amber” round out the group. I thought that Luke Evans seemed really dis-interested in his character in the opening few scenes of the film. However once the pace picks up he gets right into it, that was pleasing to see. I’ve been a big fan of Adelaide Clemens (who features as a main character in the film) for a long time. She did a great little Aussie film a while back called “Wasted On The Young” and also took the lead in the very impressive “Silent Hill Revelations” earlier this year. The role she landed here has her very much out of her depth. The character had a lot of psychological baggage due to certain events in the film. I never felt Clemens truly understood the character of Emma or the position she was in. Also she features in the very opening scene of the film, which I found to be very underwhelming. These genre films normally start with a real bang, the introduction to this one was very mediocre. Thankfully things didn’t stay that way.

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It’s a very quick paced horror film with lots of fast and witty dialogue. That was the main difference between this and your typical run of the mill horror flick. This had sufficient and relevant dialogue. We learn a few details about Luke Evans characters relationship with his current girlfriend “Betty”. We are lead to believe he has cheated on her or done something deceitful recently, hence the move across country. It’s a really well shot film too. The dynamic of the gang worked really well, everyone seem to feed off of other people’s energy and vibes. It’s a really well shot film with some fantastic inventive and original kill scenes. Some of which I have never seen attempted before. Believe me when I say they don’t hold back on the red stuff either! The gore based effects were great.

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However, the one kill scene that stood out to me because of its originality and brutal nature probably wasn’t feasible. It would have taken the special effects team quiet an effort to make it happen but yeah.. stretching the realm of possibility (those who have seen it will know what I’m talking about). There are a few small holes in the film too. At one point one of the gang members mentions trying to get to the Jeep to fix it and get away. Well it wasn’t a Jeep it was just a regular Sedan. I suppose a detail like that is not that important just an error in the writing. Some of the shots in the film are probably to dark but for the most part it works well just some of the indoor scenes weren’t lit as well. I think the score was lacking too. A good score and suspense go hand in hand and both of those aspects were uneven, the saving grace is the action in the film.

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In the end I look at this for exactly what it was, 80 minutes of fast paced gory fun. There are a few nice little twists and turns throughout. We are given a psychopath who is surely not a good guy but at the same-time he is attempting to rid the world of some pretty horrible human beings. So you can get on board with that aspect. I’m not to sure about the ending or his reasoning for letting go of the hold he has over Emma, I guess that shall remain a mystery.

My rating for “No One Lives” is 6.5/10

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