This week, the independent British movie Bane was released on DVD by Safecracker Pictures. Written and directed by James Eaves, it runs close to 2 hours, and was the winner of the Best Horror Feature Award at Shriekfest in LA.
This movie has a very Saw vibe. Four women wake up in an underground cell, remembering nothing. They are drugged and subjected to a series of horrifying experiments. On top of this, the women are visited one at a time by the killer Surgeon, who cuts a number into each woman’s skin — the exact time that he’s coming back to kill them. The movie takes a number of unexpected twists and turns, leading to an ending that is truly surprising.
I have to say that I’m amazed at what the filmmakers did with a very low budget, especially in the effects department. There is lots of blood and gore, the vast majority of it being practical (not CG). I only saw a couple quick CG enhancements to the effects, and they did not detract from the scene at all. It all plays into the psychological nature of the movie — they’re messing with the actors’ (and the viewers’) heads, leaving everyone to try to figure out what is really going on.
It’s also very good on a technical level. A lot of careful attention was paid to camera placement and movement, and stylized, creative lighting was utilized to the fullest extent. It’s all edited together very well — even though it’s a longer movie, the pacing is very good and never left me bored or over-stimulated.
The acting is pretty much what you’d expect from a micro-budget film. A couple of the characters are done well, while most are mediocre at best. But they weren’t helped by the fact that there wasn’t much character development — I really didn’t care for any of them that much. Most of the movie is focused on the psychological horror of the situation, not on growing deeper with the characters.
A few specific problems I had:
- I just didn’t get the killer Surgeon. Why was he there? Several things didn’t make much sense to me.
- After the experiments and subsequent questioning, the women were given the chance to ask the doctor one question. Why didn’t they ask what was going on? They never thought of that until the end.
- The main character was awfully calm upon discovering the Lovecraftian tentacle bug monster. She was even clearheaded enough to use the creature to her advantage. I think that any normal person would have crapped their pants and collapsed in a sobbing heap. Or maybe that would just be me.
All in all, this was a very interesting movie to watch. It’s a Saw-like psychological horror film, lacking the fine polish of a big-budget film, but still delivering some nice gore and unexpected twists.
Thanks to my friends at Organic Marketing for sending this!