Nobody Can Cool (2013)
Directed by DPYX (Marcy Boyle and Rachel Holzman)
What makes a great horror/thriller? It begins and ends with one word…tension. Regardless of what additional bells and whistles you bring to the movie, you've got to have tension. And Nobody Can Cool has that in spades.
As indie filmmakers, it was clear that the folks behind Nobody Can Cool knew that they weren't going to get everything on their wish list when it came to making the movie. So they focused on what was important and delivered a solid picture.
Basically, Nobody Can Cool is about a pair of couples who find themselves in the same cabin one night. One couple is there for a weekend getaway, the other is hiding out after some type of heist. Apparently things didn't go perfectly well for the criminals as there is much fighting between them. As the story unfolds, we see that things did indeed to terribly wrong, and they're about to get much worse.
There is quite a bit of violence in Nobody Can Cool and it's shot very nicely. There's a scene where people are being tied up and held hostage and the directors used some tight shots making the audience feel as if they were right in there while the attack is occurring, creating a very claustrophobic environment.
The two main characters in the film are Susan (played by Catherine Annette) and Len (played by Nick Principe). Both actors did an impressive job. Annette was great as the terrified, yet still resourceful Susan. She's stuck in a very dangerous situation, but even though she's incredibly afraid (and she does a great job using body language to show it) she continues to try to fight back and escape. And Principe is fantastic as Len. As the movie rolls on, pressure steadily builds on Len. He seems to be a nice guy who just wants to get out of the situation he finds himself in, but circumstances won't allow that and as he gets increasingly frustrated the entire tension level of the entire movie cranks up until the explosive finale. Principe also does a great job of delivering some comic relief with some nicely delivered comedic lines and impressive use of facial expressions.
Although there isn't a ton of need for F/X in the film, the practical stuff we see is done very nicely. The directors had no problem getting in tight on some of the wounds because the practical F/X were done so well. Unfortunately, the filmmakers tried to slide a few digital F/X in there and they stood out like a sore thumb. Other than that, and the fact that there was a bit of a discrepancy in the level of acting skill among some of the players, Nobody Can Cool is on the money.
Again, this movie plays to its strengths. It's got a very good story and characters you care about. They're well-developed and colorful with very powerful personalities. And there are several sub-plots going on within the main story. Not enough to make it muddy and convoluted, but enough to add flavor to all the characters and make them more human. And Nobody Can Cool builds tension brilliantly. Those are two things you don't need to have a ton of money in your budget to achieve, good story and good characters. And they may be the two most important aspects of any movie. Without giving too much of the story away, know that the film deals with pressures placed on both couples that they can't control. Stress and pressure, two great additions to any story. And as a viewer you're going to be treated to explosive fights, gunplay, sex, murder and a shocking ending you won't see coming.
The solid cast led by Principe and Annette, and guided by Boyle and Holzman, deliver on a very cool story. If you're a fan of the indies, this is definitely one you want to check out. You can overlook some wonky digital F/X and a pregnant belly that doesn’t look 100 percent real for this tale of tension. Nicely done.
3 1/2 out of 5