Uncharted (2009)

UnchartedReviewed by The Foywonder

Starring Demetrius Navarro, Shana Montanez, Carlos Meza, John Hillard, Erin Howie

Directed by Frank Nunez

Every now and then you stumble upon an indie film that you hadn’t heard of, cannot find much information about on the web, and whose recent release pretty much fell through the cracks. You go into watching such a film with no expectations one way or another. Sometimes you find an undiscovered gem. Other times you end up with movies like Uncharted.

But first, a quick word about the logo for the Lansing Entertainment Group production company that appears before the film. The initials L.E.G. appear next to a real woman’s bare leg in high heels taking a step onto the side of the screen looking like she was modeling for the lamp from A Christmas Story. I nearly did a spit-take.

Laine and Greg’s plane has crashed landed on an uncharted island in the Gulf of Mexico. Laine is a determined documentarian out to get some decent footage of a rare jaguar or something like that who looks great in a belly shirt. Greg likes beef jerky, has a bad knee from an old high school marching band injury, and every so often his Spidey-Sense tingles, telling him that all is not right. The two of them walk around, sit around, stand around, flirt, get liquored up, go to sleep, and generally bore the holy hell out of viewers with their do-nothingingness. “You just did all that staring for nothing,” Greg actually says to Laine. “We can’t just sit here,” says Laine at one hour and seven minutes into a seventy-eight minute film. Why not? That’s all you’ve done for most of the film thus far.

The first real action of any kind doesn’t occur until the fifty-minute mark when Laine does a sexy belly dance for Greg followed by a gratuitous sex scene. All well and good if this was The Blue Lagoon, but since I was under the impression this was some sort of horror movie, I kept waiting for anything aside from a monstrous P.O.V. shot to actually do something beside stare at them from the brush.

Is that something an animalistic monster or are there primitive cannibals in animal skins stalking them? It almost doesn’t matter one way or another because what it is doesn’t do a damn thing until the last five minutes, the reveal of what they are is saved until the very last moment before the closing credits, and that reveal proves almost laughable.

Uncharted often left me feeling like I was watching an expanded episode of Animal Planet’s “Lost Tapes”. The average episode of “Lost Tapes” runs about 20 minutes sans commercials and scientific asides laying out the facts of the showcased cryptid-of-the-week. Nothing whatsoever happens until the last 20 minutes of Uncharted, and even then it isn’t much. Everything preceding these few happenings was nothing but uninteresting chatter meant to develop characters we still have no reason to care about in anticipation of the final few minutes during which something actually happens. Laine and Greg’s uneventful plight is periodically interrupted with video footage shot by the rest of their production crew that arrived on the island first and fell victim to whatever is out there watching and waiting, and this footage also consists almost entirely of three people standing around doing absolutely nothing. So, technically speaking, Uncharted would make for two really lame episodes of “Lost Tapes”.

A pity because the actors aren’t that bad and the production values are perfectly fine for a very low budget movie set entirely on a beach and in the thicket. But – I cannot stress this hard enough – NOTHING HAPPENS!

The belly dance was worth one knife. The rest isn’t even worth sharpening the blade.

1 out of 5

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