GORE IN THE STORE
Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews - By Fans For Fans
8 FOUND DEAD **
Directed by Travis Greene.
Starring Alisha Soper, William Gabriel Grier, Aly Trasher, Eddy Acosta, Laura Buckles, Patrick Joseph Rieger, Jenny Tran, Rosanne Limeres and Tim Simek.
Horror, USA, 83 mins, cert 15.
Released in the UK on digital platforms by High Fliers on 23rd October 2023.
Airbnb booking issues, making small talk with overbearing ageing couples you meet whilst on holiday, and being murdered with an axe are just some of the everyday problems facing young couples that Travis Greene explores in the slick horror thriller 8 FOUND DEAD, which contains hints of Ti West’s X and homages to Hitchcock’s PYSCHO.
After entertaining cold open misdirects, the film, cutting between crisscrossing time lines over one day at a remote desert rental home, follows four different couples (each irritating to varying degrees). There is air headed influencer Sam (Alisha Soper, the strongest of the cast, deftly handling the satirical jabs at social media stars), who has recently been diagnosed with cancer and her bickering boyfriend Dwayne (William Gabriel Grier). Their bickering friends Carrie (Aly Trasher) and Ricky (Eddy Acosta). Two police officers (also bickering) who are recently separated (Laura Buckles and Patrick Joseph Rieger) and finally, a very odd middle-aged couple of out-of-work actors, Liz (Rosanne Limeres) and Richard (Tim Simek) who seem to have double booked the holiday home and won’t leave (and bicker).
The main obstacle that prevented me from thoroughly enjoying the film, which is pretty decent, was how unbearably irritating the antagonists were. Liz and Richard are perhaps the most annoying villains ever put on film. They make inappropriate sexual comments and racist remarks; Richard brags about playing Hamlet eight times (I’m sure not even Olivier played Hamlet that many times), and, worst of all, criticises the film JAWS. It is intentional; they are not meant to be likeable, but there is no charm to them whatsoever, so any time they are on screen (which is a lot) is like nails on a chalkboard. They also start as complete weirdos the moment you first see them, so they have no gradual build-up or a sense of mystery. These complex characters can be done well and successfully straggle the line between annoying, sympathetic, and sinister, such as Mark Duplass in CREEP or, to a lesser extent, Grace Phipps in SUPERHOST.
It's not helped that the other characters could be more likeable, too. None of them have healthy relationships or seem to even slightly like the person they are dating, so it’s hard to want to root for them entirely, but then they’re also not so detestable that it’s fun to watch bad things happen to them either.
On a more positive note, the cutting between the different time lines is handled well; it always becomes clear and disorientating, and this creative choice helped to build some tension. It also looks great for a film on this budget and makes the most of its central location.
Overall, this is a confident and fun feature film debut, but I couldn’t get past the insufferable characters. Travis Greene can make a good-looking, well-structured, and snappily edited film, but engaging characters are not his strong suit.
Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews
By Fans For Fans