Friday, 11 April 2014
Prowl (2010) Patrik Syverson
Cinema is littered with directors sure footed through to great on their home turf, lured by the bright lights and bigger budgets of the US only to find themselves unsteady through to cack handed. I don't know of many that would call Patrik Syverson's previous outing Rovdyr (Manhunt) great, but it was at least a relatively memorable slice of brains free backwoods brutality. Prowl unfortunately is anything but memorable, in fact just four days after watching it for a second time and I can scarce remember any details. The story is workable enough, a pretty young thing desperate to escape her one horse town takes a ride with a trucker along with her friends, only to wind up locked in a disused factory hunting ground for monsters. No sensation but it definitely has potential. And however essentially faceless, the cast sell it all well enough with the great Bruce Payne giving out good underused grizzled and menacing but not exactly outright evil vibes as the trucker. Just doesn't really work though. Predictability is a villain here but not the main one, sure you've seen this situation play out a thousand times before even if you haven't but this shouldn't be a problem, heck the aforementioned Rovdyr was even rustier in the plot department. What hurts more is the absence of any notable bloodshed or gore (we get the red stuff splashed about a bit and a few severed limbs but that's about it) the uninspired antagonists and the dully irritating camera-work, both in the post 28 Days Later style. Lighting fast and cat agile human beasts might be good but the budget/performers/imagination involved don't permit anything too interesting. Syverson is a little more competent than many in employing the camera style, he does at least appreciate the benefits of visually coherent action so when things hot up they aren't entirely frustrating. But its still a cheap and unconvincing gimmick (do people really experience and process violent events with a severe case of the jitters?) that robs events of much of their potential impact. Also the factory setting is dull, the sort of place that worked in a plethora of 80's through 90's cheapjack action/sci-fi fare because lots of people and/or things got shot, set on fire or blown up but here holds little such excitement. While on the whole this didn't make me want to eat my own head, it moves fast and is at the very least mildly diverting, there's almost nothing about it to really recommend. I suppose I liked the twist character as I generally do such types, but that's more of a personal quirk. You'd probably be better off antiquing or smoking meth or something.