GET OUT ALIVE
This is a review of the Region 1 Horror/Slasher film “Get Out Alive”. This is director Clay DuMaw’s debut feature film which was made for an estimated budget of $10,000. The film stars David Fichtenmayer, Rhiannon Roberts, David Iannotti and Tyler Sutton, along with Jay Storey. It’s about siblings Paul, (Fichtenmayer) and Marilyn (Roberts), who are heading home from a vacation only to have their car break down along the way. After getting directions to the nearest garage, the two suspect that there’s more than meets the eye with the owner of the shop, his assistant and the mysterious beast that’s chained up outside.
First of all, I want to say that I have the utmost respect for Clay and everybody involved in making this film. I have read about how they spent weekends shooting it because the garage was doing business Monday through Friday. Some of the props that were used were found on location. As well as the film being partially crowd funded. So what a great effort for this film to get made at all. I really enjoyed the introduction to the characters and the scenes that takes place at the garage in the first ten minutes. Even though the story isn’t overly unique, given the copious amount of slasher in the woods films, it manages to give the average horror fan exactly what they want. Clay is able to utilize only two or three locations to the best of his ability, creating a very tight film and saving money in the process. The production value that’s achieved here has to be seen to be believed, I couldn’t get over the budget that this was made for because you just cant tell.
From a technical point of view the film deserves nothing but praise. The crystal clear audio, smooth cutting from scene to scene combined with some really relaxed smooth camera work, make this one of the best first debut films I have ever seen. There is some really solid acting on display as well, considering none of the cast have much experience. I thought the 80’s style bass and keys score worked really well too. It was very reminiscent of films like “Friday the 13th” and even Peter Jackson’s “Brain Dead”. The action scenes are few and far between but it’s not all negative. We are privy to a great chainsaw death gag, take into account the lack of funds and that in itself is pretty impressive.
The lack of back story and standard fare dialogue that hopes to progress the movie was a little bit disappointing. I would like to have really felt Paul and Marilyn’s close connection as brother and sister before things start to escalate. The flat tire plot point to set up the rest of the film was a little unoriginal and plain. It’s a fairly slow-burn style of horror flick with no real suspense or action until well over half way. So those of you who like it in their face right from the outset might be a little disappointed, but please keep in mind the budget limitations. The fight sequences in the second half are not very well choreographed either, it tends to look pretty fake, but you can see the actors are still having fun with it. The weakest aspect that I could see was in the reactions from both Paul and Marilyn when each of them is wounded from a particular weapon (don’t want to give anything away). Surely, you would be panicking, I would have thought, right? so I didn’t believe their reactions at all, I’m not sure why it was written that way. They could have at least screamed and put up a bit of a fight.
Get Out Alive isn’t anything new or unique but its one mighty fine attempt for a first time filmmaker and I enjoyed every minute of it. It’s great to see a horror film set predominately during the day time, it also progresses at a very nice pace. Sadly the characters aren’t fully explored, and one is even written out without any real warning. Where was the blood? the wound? Considering the already lacking body count the fans could have used something with a bit more of an impact. I think with a bit more money and higher body count this could have been a blood and gore soaked gem. It’s not a perfect film but it’s really well put together. For those who are fans of the genre, I can highly recommend Get Out Alive. Well done too Clay and Co!
My rating for “Get Out Alive” is 6/10