It had been so long since I had watched a good, mindless slasher, and from what reviews I had come across, Cut was branded just that. To say I was looking forward to the movie would maybe be a bit of an over-statemtent, but I was eager to see how the people over in Australia would handle a slasher, and so rented it all the same.
The opening scene of the movie - which is a movie-within-a-movie, although unbeknownest to the viewer until the appropriate moment - celebrates the film's corny plot, but when Kylie's big moment comes, you can't help feeling just a little disappointed. After all, how can a movie that used her name to gain an audience barely give her five minutes screen-time and then a lously death that fails to create even a modicum of suspense? Thankfully this opening is quickly saved by the wonderful Molly Ringwald, whose tongue-in-cheek performance through-out the movie is one of the film's only saving graces (how ironic that in an Aussie slasher, the only remarkable character is actually American!)
Despite the amount of gore that Cut has in it, the death scenes are all rather lack-lustre and tiresome, and come across as just that - scenes in a movie that seems only half awake as it rambles quietly along. The only possible exception is a scene involving Sarah Kants (as 'Hester'), which manages to come across as very eerie and suspenseful, and the character's outcome is one that even I shuddered at. If only the production team had tried to capture the same creepy nature of this one scene through-out the movie, Cut could have been a satisfyingly macabre film, but unfortunately it falls short too many times to be forgiveable.
As with so many other slashers, Cut also suffers from having a diabolically huge cast list, and so it is almost impossible for the viewer to associate with or even remember the names of half the characters. With the movie just managing to scrape the 80-minute running time mark, surely someone could have pointed out how shallow the movie is character-wise before it reached distribution?!
The only actor in the movie that stands out, as noted previously, is Molly Ringwald as Vanessa, who turns in a delightful performance as a snooty LA actress. Her one-liners are all hysterically funny ('Believe me, no creative energy went into that piece of shit!'), and she actually gets some nice character development which helps the viewer root for her when it comes to the big finale. Jessica Napier also made a good impression as the gutsy and likable Raffy, but sadly the movie's one major twist fails to make a lasting or shocking revelation due to the under-played consequences. The only other notable cast member is Sarah Kants as Raffy's friend Hester, who gives one of the film's only scary moments. Her sexuality and relationship with Raffy is sadly lost in the mess of the climax, and there could have been some interesting interaction between her and other characters had the creative team been more interested in actually telling a story rather than build up a large and tedious body count.
Given all of the bad elements to this movie, there are still some memorable moments that stay with the viewer. The ending effects are of good quality (maybe this is why the movie looks so cheap -- budget-saving for the ending?), and a scene in which the real killer takes the place of the actor on the crowded movie set (unbeknowst to anyone except us) is chilling and builds great tension, and the chaos that ensues is believeable and nerve-jangling. Also, everything about the film is so Scooby-Doo obvious (and that's actually a good thing, for this movie!) that it's more a test of the audience's slasher knowledge whether you figure out what is going to come next (and invariably most will and do).
For a while towards the middle, Cut almost manages to create the same eerie atmosphere that made Friday the 13th so memorable, but an hour in the movie seems to give up and comes to a badly-handled climax that fails to satisfy. Nothing much to recommend about this movie, except for a spirited and enjoyable performance from Molly Ringwald and some occaisionally nice cinematography.