Black Rock (2012)

Directed By: Katie Aselton
Written By: Mark Duplass
Starring: Katie Aselton
  Lake Bell
  Kate Bosworth
  Will Bouvier
Black Rock

Reunions are always difficult. When Sarah (Kate Bosworth) invites two of her bickering friends for a long-needed intervention on Black Rock island, she hopes their differences will be resolved and the trio will return to their old – happier – friendships.

Unfortunately they’re not alone on Black Rock and the women run into a trio of hunters whose intentions seem anything but honourable. After a horrific accident, the three friends find themselves being hunted through the wilderness by a couple of ex-military psychopaths with guns and vengeance on their minds.

One of this year’s most annoying horror films, Black Rock does nothing new with an old idea, delivering a cripplingly dull and excruciatingly elongated game of cat ‘n’ mouse with zero twists and even less tension.

The men are dishonourably discharged Iraq war veterans with no signs of post-traumatic stress but every sign they’re actual 2D psychopaths. The women are three generic ‘friends’ that argue about a decade-old betrayal and are physically weaker than a pile of broken stick insects.

The trio’s lack of pro-activity will make most viewers seethe, as the woman run around screaming like headless chickens for most of the movie. Most people will switch off when the three ‘sneak’ along the beach in the dark and BICKER REALLY BLOODY LOUDLY. No surprises when one of them catches a bullet in the head… and then the other two run away, screaming. Again. Yawn.

The unforgivable thing about Black Rock is the story. The plot literally consists of three women being hunted by two men in some woods. Some people die. Some people live. Then end.

The deaths are uninventive (guns, knives, a rock and some pointy sticks!) and the special FX make-up is laughable at times. You won’t even care when Katie Aselton and Lake Bell get naked in the woods – you’ll be asleep by then. It’s proper ‘my first horror movie’ territory and unforgivable considering it’s been made by a veteran of TV and film (and not just some random debut filmmaker).

Thankfully short, at least Black Rock tries to inject some character into the women before splitting them up and sending them squealing into the woods. The dynamic between Bell and Aselton is decent and Bosworth’s character is given a bizarrely short shrift considering she started off as our protagonist. Although well acted, with a dull script and no surprises the actors have very little to do and it’s not exactly performance-stretching stuff…

Black Rock is clearly Katie Aselton’s project, considering she directs, stars and is responsible for the mundane story, but it’s apparent she’s never watched many horror movies because the end result is so unoriginal and cliché – and not scary – that it’s ultimately a very forgettable experience. Avoid.

Rating: ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

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