Review: ‘Black Rock’ starring Katie Aselton
Director: Katie Aselton
Starring: Katie Aselton, Lake Bell, Kate Bosworth, Will Bouvier, Jay Paulson
At first glance, Black Rock looks like a blend of Deliverance, mixed with the female-powered revenge horror of I Spit on Your Grave. While Black Rock earnestly tries to balance the two, it comes across as overly ambitious and never really finds the right tone while simultaneously falling prey to predictable horror tropes (hot girls in horror films are contractually obligated to run around naked at least some point during the movie).
Black Rock, starring Kate Bosworth, Lake Bell, and writer-director Katie Aselton, focuses on three childhood friends going camping on a remote island for a weekend, only to meet three men hunting on the supposedly deserted island. The film immediately clouds the picture by introducing unnecessary added drama: two of the girls hate each other because someone slept with someone else’s boyfriend ten years ago; the married girl drunkenly flirts with one of the hunters and refuses to talk about her marriage; the hunters are actually ex-military and they were dishonourably discharged.
The ‘twist,’ shown in the trailer, comes when one of the hunters tries to go too far, gets his head bashed in, and his buddies decide to kill the girls. They escape, and eventually the predators become the prey.
If Black Rock had done away with just one of the superfluous plotlines, it would have made the entire movie much smoother. Left as it was, it felt too crowded. Is it not enough drama that people are fighting for their lives on an island in the middle of nowhere? Overall, Black Rock is still pretty solid as far as modern horror movies go (as a horror fan, I both love them and can admit that 90% are terrible, and not in a so-bad-it’s-good way). Is it worth seeing in the theatre? Probably not. But on a rainy night when you’ve seen all the movies on your must-watch list, it’s not a bad choice.
Black Rock arrives on video on demand services on September 27, 2013 and will come out on DVD on October 15, 2013.