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Home | Film Review: Carl (2012)

Film Review: Carl (2012)


psychological horror/thriller depicting a backwoods family with a dark secret.


From the creation of Director Greg Daniel, comes the backwoods  style horror film “Carl“. Best described as a little bit “Psycho meets the Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “Carl” is a new hillbilly slasher film, that is far removed from the excellence of its influences. The film is an independent film production under OOTC Films.

Getting right into the plot….we begin our film in the setting of a family-owned bed and breakfast Inn used to capture unexpecting women (more specifically, for the large head of house hold relative Carl). Carl’s MO includes capturing the women for a good ol’ boy raping to create his “own” demented family. (Sounds alot like several other derivative films that fly off the shelf every other year???). Of course their enabling mother helps the process by keeping tabs on the women who come to stay at the Inn.

Lisa and Mike Ingram happen upon this locale with the intention of a romantic getaway weekend. While visiting, they come under the Carl’s radar, but end up leaving much earlier than anticipated. This is easily rectified when Carl is given the couple’s address enabling him to kidnap Lisa and bring her back to the Inn. Carl (not much of a romantic), insists she love him forcing her to “find it” within herself to momentarily convince him of her affections.

The story rolls out as expected with Lisa clinging to the idea of getting away with husband Mike hoping he’ll find her again. Carl, the main character of the film, takes a lead from the “Leather-face” classic figure but with a lower-rent presentation that is limited to a simple table-cloth mask. He does tend to fit within the typical momma’s boy role while failing to invoke any believable terror in the film. For kicks we are handed a mother-observed rape scene that goes nicely with the other unsettling instance of grandma getting off in the corner (not something you want to have to envision “especially” with an over 60-something year old at the center)

Folks, it’s micro budget….it’s nothing new and quite a bit “too” long for comfort. Bad clichés echo thru out the story which even it being a debut one-off is probably a bit premature for public release. The cinematography really suffered from lack of vision which I assume was intended to mirror a more classical approach. With so many films arriving on the scene these days, it’s easy to get run over by the onslaught of films “needing” more attention, time and scrutiny. “Carl” is one of those films.

In summary, “Carl” was horribly drawn-out leaving many questions un-answered in the end. Flash-backs thru out the film are vague to the effect of being simply annoying. Lacking any thrills or suspense, you’re given a character that ends the movie without purpose about “who” the character really is. This slow grind of a film never achieves any momentum thru any of the acts leaving the viewer bored and confused. If that’s not enough to get you to “walk on by” then feel free to indulge yourself in this simple mess. For this round, we prefer to keep walking.

Research note: The movie was filmed at various locations within Georgia.

Carl (2012)

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