About as boilerplate as you can get.
Talon Falls tells the story of four unlikable idiots having a fairly normal road trip through Kentucky. Oh, wait, murder theme parks aren’t the norm, apparently. (Who knew?)
Four teens stumble across a horrid amusement park where they become part of the show and must try to escape. Sure, the premise is dumb, but a weak plot doesn’t necessarily mean much for horror. The problem here is that the film follows just about every other horror film of this genre (somewhat slasherish/grindhouse) almost religiously. If you have seen any horror film in the last thirty years, then you have sene this movie.
The film is simply weird in its presentation. We stop at a gas station early and the attendant shouts all of his lines—for no reason. I found myself laughing aloud almost immediately. (For some reason I doubt this was the intention). We have a bunch of vapid but attractive morons fumbling their way through the south—how long until the mutated/inbred freaks show up?
The film seems to be aware of the fact that it is insulting your intelligence. The meager 70 minute run time still feels like a horrid slog. The idea of an off-the-road murder factory (the director of this film watched Hostel a few too many times) is shattered when we see that hundreds of people are showing up to this place. This isn’t some forgotten corner of the world where folks can go missing—this would be like a murderhouse existing on Times Square. Also, how can a movie this short be so boring!?
In better hands we might have had a commentary on where the line between spectator and participant is blurred. How culpable are we in the violence that we not only watch, but actively seek out? If you want to have a discussion like in that vein, I would just have it instead of wasting time trying to find gold in shit with this movie.
The acting is simply terrible. We either get non-stop screaming or complete deer-in-the-headlights indifference. Lance watches two of his friends get hit with a sledgehammer and simply doesn’t react. The expression on his face is more or less “huh” instead of anything else. All the set dressing and shaky camera in the world can’t cover up this level of apathy from our characters—if they don’t care why should we? (Also, our two idiots who got hit with the sledgehammer more or less shake off the blow).
The film starts off by ripping of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and about halfway through we get an odd blend of Scooby Doo and Hostel with a little bit of Saw thrown into the mix. The second half is more interesting than the first, but in a way it is also weaker as we are more reliant on the characters actually acting. Our half baked plan of escape packs the emotional punch of a morning BM.
The saving grace of this movie could have been the gore. It simply isn’t as good as films from the past. There really isn’t anything new here. I might be simply too desensitized, but I found the torture more boring than shocking. Don’t bother with this slow trek towards a stupid and predictable ending. 2/10