Film Review: Nobody Gets Out Alive (2013)

SYNOPSIS:

A group of college students escape their troubled lives but only to find themselves fighting for their lives from a revenge seeking mad man.

REVIEW:

After a rousing weekend binge drink in the woods in November 2000, a group of inebriated teenagers take an ill advised drive.

Sadly, yet somewhat predictably, this decision does not a good outcome make. An eight year old girl playing a very early morning game of hopscotch gets mowed down and killed by the drunken douche bags.

The man with the front row seat to this fiasco is her father. After his daughter’s death he vanishes, suddenly, and mysteriously, as soon to be psychos often do. Left behind is a local town myth that he has retreated into the woods-the same woods where the teens who killed his daughter got drunk-and is now hell bent on murdering any other youngsters with similar party plans.

Flash forward to present day. Jen is a young woman from the same town where the vehicular manslaughter took place. After getting out of the hospital after being treated for clinical depression, her parents, in a baffling, and somewhat reckless move, essentially force her to go out drinking with her friends. Her friends, of course, want to go partying in, the….dun, dun dun-woods!

Lucky for both Jen, and the audience, her friends are old ones….as in, we’ve all seen them before….in many, many, other horror films before this one.

There’s the blonde slut, who is both eager and talented in the fine arts of dick riding and beer chugging (enjoy it while it lasts, honey), the dumb, easily angry, yet good looking guy who bangs her -remember, the couple who lays together, gets slayed together.

There’s also the happy couple who holds hands and kisses throughout the camping trip, serving as a juxtaposition to the randy, aforementioned pair, the quirky comic relief guy who always gets none, and, all for Jen, her kinda sweet, kinda creepy male friend who wants to f*ck her, but doesn’t want to be too much of a pig about it.

The gangs all here!

Until of course, they aren’t.

Quirky comic relief guy is dispatched very quickly by a shadowy figure with a weapon…is this the grieving father of urban legend come to kill the campers, as, allegedly, so many before them? Will Jen and Co, survive his wrath if so? Is this madman really just an extended metaphor for Jen’s own inner demons that she must literally and figuratively slay in order to literally and figuratively emerge from the dark woods?

Despite its endless barrage of recycled plot devices, “Nobody Gets Out Alive” (aka Down the Road) has one very dubious distinction: it is one of the most awkward horror films I have ever seen.

By awkward, I mean that despite it treading on very familiar territory, it comes across as very unsure of itself. Every scene is too long, with strange gaps in dialogue and uneven pacing. Even though we are told that Jen and her friends have, apparently, known each other for awhile, and should, one would assume, be comfortable going camping together, every scene shared with these actors reads like strangers who got stuck partying together trying desperately to make small talk. It’s excruciating to watch.

Jen herself is such a flat character, its hard to tell if her lack of affect is due to her recent bout of depression, or if the actress playing her is just unskilled.

The one bright spot in casting is the previously mentioned “quirky comic relief “ friend. He’s actually a funny, charismatic fellow who does circles around the rest of the cast, acting wise. His early death is a total loss to the film.

Even the sfx seem unsure of itself. Despite there being some serious wounds inflicted, there never seems to be enough very obvious costume shop fake blood to go around. It’s hard to say what the point of this film is. It comes across as a horror film made for the sake of making a horror film. I, for one, have seen enough of those.

Since you’ve probably been there before, and definitely don’t wanna take this particular trip, avoid going “down the road”.

Nobody Gets Out Alive (2012)

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