Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Clique (aka Death Clique) (2006)

A group of high school students are on their way to spend the weekend at an isolated cabin in the woods. It’s nearing graduation time, and the kids just want to let loose and have fun. On the car ride there, one of them casually mentions that Bobby Nichols, an outcast in high school who supposedly butchered his entire family, was released just a few days ago. Meanwhile, it seems that Bobby has followed them up to the cabin and has his own plans…

As secrets are revealed all linking each of them to Bobby, the teens start getting murdered one by one…and the remaining are left fighting to survive against an unseen killer. Is Bobby finally getting his revenge or does someone else have a secret to protect?

The Clique is a throwback to the 80s slasher-in-the-woods film, but it doesn’t really offer anything new. My biggest complaint was that the murders themselves were so blah…a little creativity would have come in handy with the killings. Knife stabbings and throats slit can only go so far before they become repetitive.

The Clique is a low-budget film, and I must say that the acting was not all bad. There was a little overacting once the teens realize there is a killer on the loose, but for the most part everyone played their part very well. Plus, the kids actually looked like high school seniors instead of 20-somethings playing teenagers. The acting is probably one of the strengths of this film. I really enjoyed cutie Ryan Carty as Bobby in his first feature-film. He had just a few scenes, but boy, did he command attention every time he appeared!

The story itself is fairly typical…a bunch of kids stuck in an isolated cabin twenty miles from civilization, no cell phone reception, no phones and no keys to their SUV. Secrets are revealed that piss everyone off and when people start separating themselves from the group, they get picked off by the killer. The story, written by Monica Ortiz, is nothing new and the ending is far from satisfying. I thought the story got stretched pretty thin when the identity of the killer is revealed. Sure, it was a surprise, but it came out of left field and it just felt tacked on. The killer’s motive even seemed far-fetched. There were some other plot points within the story that didn’t feel believable at all.

As for film quality, there are a few scenes that are lit a bit too darkly and you can’t quite see what’s going on. It is a low-budget film, so the film is pretty grainy throughout. Still, the direction by David Basulto is solid and there is one scene in particular that is set in the woods that is very well-done.

The Clique is by no means a bad film, but it also isn’t a good one either. If you’re in the mood for an updated slasher flick set in a cabin in the woods, by all means check this out. If you’re looking for something with a little more substance and that is memorable, skip The Clique.

Buy The Clique aka Death Clique!

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