Tuesday, September 21, 2010

One A Week Reviews #40: Outrage Born In Terror

This film, reviewed for DVDsnapshot, may just be the biggest stinker this side of... yes... The Room!

Official Synopsis
A young woman (Natasha Lyonne) is forced to re-live a traumatic childhood event, when a vacation in the woods turns into a nightmare with an ex-military sniper (Michael Madsen) hunting them down. She now has to confront her inner demons to come out alive.

Our Take
Four friends gather at the cabin of one's father, not realizing 2 other have already been killed by some mysterious rednecks and a sniper (Madsen) who've been squatting there. As a lightning-struck redneck-caricature Billy (played by the Executive Producer) provides some moralizing narration, the film skips from genre to genre. The Sniper and co-horts (essentially a crazy Larry, Darryl, and Darryl) hunt the hapless cityfolk, Halloween-toothed Billy points out “outrages” and occasionally reminds us about “the powers up yonder.”

The muddled tone of this movie is ridiculous. One minute you think it's found some old-time religion, but then it jumps into backwoods-stalker territory. Michael Berryman (“The Hills Have Shamans?”) shows up to perform some magic tricks as a healer with his sidekick, Mr.“Dueling Banjos” This movie doesn't know if it wants to be moral parable or horror film, but as Christine (Katie Fountain) comes to terms with a trauma from her childhood, she learns important lessons on conquering her fears... with the help of a ghost and some lessons in changing her patterns of thinking. It's not an action thriller, it's “The Secret!”

The editing and audio are as atrocious as the seriously uneven tone of the movie. Most of the actors are amateurish to the point of painful. Natasha Lyonne (playing a character different than the one indicated on the box) seems like a completely different actress than the one we met in Slums of Beverly Hills. Bloated and seemingly drugged, she's painful for her fans – and I am one – to watch. Michael Madsen is collecting a paycheck, but at least he brings some presence.

This movie is weird, moralizing, and doesn't know what it wants to be. It's too hokey to please thriller fans and too hippie-dippy to please fans of religious-themed films. It's a soft, soggy “action thriller” with a spiritual bent. If nothing else, you'll (ahem) “thrill” to some of the most senseless character self-sacrifice in the history of movies. Each time you think your jaw can't drop again, it does. This is the most off-kilter film I've seen since The Room, except that movie may just be... better.

Special Features:
Outrage is presented in 16:9 full-screen and English 2.0 Dolby English. The only extras are trailers.

A muddled movie essentially based on the principles of “The Secret,” it's best to ask the Universe to take it away. If you ask and believe, you will receive... if not a better movie, then at least some free time. Outrage is the backwoods cousin of The Room.

Overall Picture:
Movie: D
Extras: D

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