No One Lives (2012)
Directed by Ryuhei Kitamura
The director of Versus and Midnight Meat Train is back delivering gorehounds another horror film with a slew of stylized kills and set pieces in No One Lives. It is obvious that Ryuhei Kitamura set out to make a film that is as side-splitting as the murders in it; however, he seems to be the only one in on the joke in this atrocious and unintentionally funny slasher.
At first No One Lives shows promise with its interesting premise by introducing viewers to an attractive couple named Driver (Luke Evans) and his girlfriend, Betty (Laura Ramsey), on a cross-country road trip. They unfortunately run into a group of hillbilly criminals at a town’s local steak house and are harassed by the unhinged and psychotic Flynn (Derek Magyar) before eating their meal.
When the pair leave the restaurant, they are kidnapped by Flynn and tied up. When Betty makes the surprising move to kill herself, Driver then shows his true colors and reveals that he is in fact a ruthless serial killer himself who is out for blood and prepared to torture the gang of criminals one by one. A horrible role-reversing horror flick ensues.
No One Lives should have been called No One Should See This as it is a film that will make you think Captivity is worth a second viewing. Although Kitamura gives fans kills that will induce cheers of excitement, the real problems are the script, which is a mess, and the asinine staccato dialogue delivery that tries to pass itself off as intense acting. Although it would be easy to blame first-time screenwriter David Cohen for all the film’s faults, anyone with a writing background could see that the script was compromised and he intended to write a dark film with a killer twist instead of an appallingly funny slasher since it’s only Kitamura’s direction that truly stands out.
Even the actors couldn’t save the film from falling apart. Luke Evans, who is generally known for giving stellar performances, is reduced to being a chiseled, albeit cartoony anti-hero, and even great character actor Lee Tergesen couldn’t stand out with his paper-thin role. It seemed like every actor on board was aware they were in a shitty horror flick and looked as if they hated every second of it.
If you are a huge fan of Kitamura, then you will definitely have fun not having fun while watching No One Lives. However, if you’re not a fan, then you should save this money and watch it from the comfort of your own home when it inevitably goes direct to Netflix.
2 out of 5