Thursday, August 26, 2010
Director: Jeffery Scott Lando
Writers: Kurt Volkan and Joel Newman
Starring Lacey Chabert, Mercedes McNab, Tygh Runyan and Brandon Quinn
There are many wilderness survival horror films of late with films like Open Water and Thirst is definitely one of those. It has a very small cast of characters and one central location, a very dry and desolate desert. The director uses both the actors and the scenery very well. Films like this hinge usually on the stupidity of the characters and this one is no different, you do not go into a desert location with only 2 bottles of water that is just plain stupid. The main character in the film is characterized very well and the writing really makes you care for her, not so much for the other characters they just seem like fodder for the story. The use of the ghost wolf in the film is a little strange too, as if they were not sold that the situation that these people find them in would be enough to keep the viewer emotionally vested into the film. I think that is a mistake and is one reason why this film while entertaining is not great like a film like Open Water.
The plot basics are this, two couples are on their way to a secluded desert for a photos hoot as one of the women (McNab) is a model and her boyfriend (Quinn) is her photographer. The other couple (Chabert and Runyan) is along for the ride and having some relationship issues. Their car crashes in the desert and the one girl (Mcnab) receives a concussion and their cell phones seem to have no service and they are stuck in the desolate desert. They eventually decide to try to walk back to civilization which is at least 50 miles behind them. They face many obstacles in their trek for survival not the least being their fighting among themselves and their lack of water to keep them alive.
This is a pretty tense film. Lando’s direction is pretty solid. He sets up the character conflicts pretty well and makes it pretty obvious from the beginning that something is up with Noelle’s character from the get go. The scenes with the wolf and the surgery scene on McNab’s character are done very well and that scene in particular is hard to watch. The script is pretty good as well, you have a solid story arc for Noelle’s character and you totally sympathize with her throughout the film. The rest of the characters are pretty much cannon fodder and they feel that way. The cast does a great job. Chabert portrays a good conflicted heroine and you suffer along with her as you watch the film. McNab is good as Atheria and she is the first casualty in the film and pulls that part off well. The 2 male leads are decent but nothing noteworthy. The SFX in the film are minimal but the scene with the cranial surgery is done very well and painful to watch. The score by Chris Nickel is very haunting and spiritual and definitely has a Native American sound to the piece. This is a solid wilderness survival horror film and well worth a peek.
This one gets 3 out of 5