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Feral (2017)

Students fight to survive a weekend in the woods.


Written and directed by Mark Young (Limbo), Feral has some ups and downs, The story is, for the most part, extremely simple. Hikers hit the forest trail and get caught up in some malevolent flesh ripping malakey. It's all very familiar. And, for some aspects, stock. The actors are all well into their thirties, playing to some student type, and it doesn't work particularly well. There is a cabin in the woods. It's all familiar in the boring sense, not the warm and fuzzy sense. But I digress. The direction is satisfying. There's nothing outstanding about it, but it works well enough. The writing is pretty awful. Young doesn't do a good job on the screenplay, and an even worse job on the dialogue. Some of it is almost non-sensical. But.

It's a horror film. Dialogue and screenplays can play second fiddle good old fashion dread and blood gushing. And it does at least try. The film isn't scary in the least, it's too obvious for that, but the kills are pretty meaty, and the effects are practical, which in this day and age is a nice treat. The gore is in fact the only saving grace for the film.

The acting is bad. There really isn't any other way to say it. Scout Taylor-Compton isn't a good actor, and no amount of reminding me that she was in Halloween (the Rob Zombie one - Laurie Strode, no less) is going to help with that. None of the supporting cast help either. There is a reliance on day for night shots which particularly grates on me and makes me want to scream. The cabin in the woods has a basement, which is clearly on a stage somewhere and off putting. How do bear-traps work? This film doesn't know. And don't get me started on what happens to everyone once they become infected. (yes, this is a zombie film of sorts) - and they all look the same. I had no idea who was what by the end.

Anyway. Good gore. Nice effects. Passes the time. Terrible acting. Stop trying to make ST-C a scream queen. Jamie Lee Curtis, she ain't.

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