Desolation Review: Campers + Lunatic = Simplicity; But That's Not Always a Better Product - Dread Central
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Desolation Review: Campers + Lunatic = Simplicity; But That’s Not Always a Better Product



desolation posters - Desolation Review: Campers + Lunatic = Simplicity; But That's Not Always a Better Product

desolation poster 201x300 - Desolation Review: Campers + Lunatic = Simplicity; But That's Not Always a Better ProductStarring Jaimi Page, Alyshia Ochse, Toby Nichols

Directed by Sam Patton

I’m usually all in when it comes to a psycho in the woods flick, but there was just something about Sam Patton’s Desolation that seemed a bit distant for me… distance… desolation… I’m sure there’s a connection in there somewhere. Either that or I’m suffering from a minor case of sleep deprivation. Either way, make sure you’ve got your backpack stuffed ’cause we’re hitting the timberlands for this one.

The film focuses on mother and son tandem Abby and Sam and the tragic notion that Abby’s love and father to her son has passed away. The absence has been a crippling one, and Abby’s idea of closure is to take her adolescent offspring to the woods where her husband used to love to run and scatter his ashes as a memorial tribute.

Abby invites her best friend, Jenn, along as emotional support; and together all three are planning on making this trip a fitting and dedicatory experience… until the mystery man shows up. Looking like a member of the Ted Kaczynski clan (The Unabomber himself), this creepy fellow seems content to simply watch the threesome; and when he ultimately decides to close the distance, it’ll be a jaunt in the forest that this close-knit group will never forget.

So there you have it – doesn’t beg a long, descriptive, bled-out dissertation. Patton tosses all of his cards on the table in plain view for the audience to scan at their leisure. While the tension is palpable at times, it’s the equivalent of watching someone stumble towards the edge of a cliff and NEVER tumble over… for a long time you literally watch them do the drunken two-step near the lip for what seems like an eternity. What I’m getting at is that the movie has the bells and whistles to give white-knucklers something to get amped about; yet, it never all seems to come into complete focus or allow itself to spread out in such a way that you can feel satisfied after the credits roll.

If I may harp on the performance aspect for a few, it basically broke down this way for me: Both Abby and Jenn’s characters were well-displayed, making you feel as if you really were watching long-time besties at play. Sam’s character was a bit tough to swallow, as he was the sadder-than-sad kid due to his father’s absence, but JEEZ this kid was a friggin’ malcontented little jerk. All I can say is “Role well-played, young man.

As we get to our leading transient, kook, outsider – whatever you want to call him: He simply shaved down into a hum-drum personality – no sizzle here, folks. Truly a disappointment for someone who was hoping for an enigmatic nutbag to terrorize our not-so-merry band of backpackers. Oh well, Santa isn’t always listening, I guess.  Simplicity has its place and time when displaying the picture-perfect lunatic, and before everyone gets a wild hair across their ass because of what I’m saying, all this is was the wish to have THIS PARTICULAR psycho be a bit more colorful – I can still appreciate face-biters like Hannibal Lecter and those of the restrained lunacy set.

Overall, Desolation is one of those films that had all the pieces meticulously set in place, like a house of cards… until that drunk friend stumbled into the table, sending everything crumbling down. A one-timer if you can’t find anything else readily available to watch.

  • Film


Looking for a little direction way out in the woods? Look elsewhere because this guide doesn’t have a whole lot to offer.

User Rating 3.14 (21 votes)





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