Friday, May 16, 2008

Timber Falls (2007)

Some horror movies are so derivative I bet I could use the same review over and over, only needing to change names. The message behind this collective review would be that these unoriginal and woefully tired movies SUCK!

Timber Falls is no different than most horror films that feature religious backwoods fanatics. It’s pretty uninspired and unoriginal…but it does have Josh Randall’s rock hard abs on display!!

A yuppie couple is trying to “get away from it all” and decides a trip into the West Virginian State Park system will do the trick. Acres of forests, mountain peaks and rushing streams do little to soothe the soul when they encounter “the locals” that seem to pop up whatever trail they take. After a night of sweaty tent sex, the woman, Sheryl (Brianna Brown), awakens and decides to skinny dip. I don’t know about you, but after encountering a bunch of mostly lascivious weirdoes the LAST thing I would do is strip naked and give anyone secretly watching a free show. Nonetheless, this seemingly brainless beauty does and promptly gets kidnapped by a disfigured man. Cue our “hero,” Mike, (Josh Randall) who wakes from his slumber and runs around looking for his girlfriend, who by this point is nowhere to be found. When he returns back to camp after a few minutes of hollering, everything – their tent, gear, etc. – is gone! Woe is he! He then stumbles into a giant bear trap and passes out…

Mike wakes up to find himself in the cozy home of a local woman, Ida (Beth Broderick), who at first appears pretty darn normal, but soon enough he discovers her collection of human fetuses in the basement. He also finds Sheryl all tied up there with the hulking brute that kidnapped her. It seems that Ida, her husband Clyde (conveniently a park ranger, played by Nick Searcy) and disfigured brother Deacon (Sascha Rosemann) have been kidnapping couples in the hopes that one of them would conceive and carry a baby to term for them. You see, Ida can’t carry a baby to term and has miscarried countless times (hence the fetuses in jars). They marry the couple so their baby won’t be born out of wedlock and tell them to fulfill their marital duties. One problem, though, the couple just doesn’t feel too romantic under the circumstances and decide to fight back.

This is just another “crazy backwoods hillbillies” movie, but instead of featuring slobbering inbred villains it features a family that just wants a baby…and I guess they can’t afford a surrogate or don’t want to go through the adoption process. Rational and logic clearly gets thrown out the window on this one, but I wasn’t expecting anything brilliant, just a movie I could kill some time with. Unfortunately, the pacing on this movie was so slow that it felt like time was killing me!

It takes at least a half an hour for the film to get anywhere, all the while cycling through the same boring clichés. Perky city couple in the woods? Check. Clueless authority figure? Check. Hostile hillbillies? Check. Creepy religious types? Check. Disfigured bad guy? Check. And that is only within the first part of the movie! The tired, unoriginal storyline limps on through to the end.

Besides the cliché-ridden plot, it seemed silly that the overly muscular Mike (and his spectacular abs), who pretty much dwarfed everyone in the cast, would be overpowered by The Three Stooges of backwoods baby-makin’. He really needed to stop wussin’ out and go Hulk on everyone’s asses (“MIKE ANGRY!!!!”). At least that would have seemed more plausible than dear ol’ Momma Ida beating him up (or at least more entertaining).

I will give credit to the actors for putting on a jolly good show despite the uninspired story. Josh Randall and Brianna Brown do a convincing job of playing the couple, though their character development doesn’t go too deep. The rest of the cast was great as well, but my favorite was Beth Broderick (probably most recognizable from TV show Sabrina, The Teenage Witch) who played Ida. She was definitely this film’s saving grace. Her maniacal mind contrasted sharply with her seemingly sweet demeanor and you never knew what she was going to do next! I felt the character of Deacon, though played very effectively by Sascha Rosemann, was unnecessary. I also wish the film had given more screen time to the two hunters that offered some comedic relief.

Still, despite good performances I just can’t bring myself to recommend this derivative film. It is just overly predictable and bland for my tastes, though Broderick’s performance does kick it up a few notches. And I do have to thank writer Daniel Kay for featuring a scene where actor Josh Randall is strung up and his rippling muscles bathed in sweat and candlelight are in full view.

Available from Amazon!

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