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Carver (2008)

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Plot Summary:
"Based on a true story, Carver depicts the real life events of five 20-something's that went camping in the mountain town of Halcyon Ridge and never returned."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 22 June 2008 My Rating: out of 5


Carver is a nasty little film that combines 70s style slasher movies a la TCM with more contemporary torture porn offerings such as Hostel.

The premise sees brothers Pete and Bryan head off on a boys weekend for a final fling before Pete heads off to University. They meet up en route with Peteís best friend Zack and his girlfriend Rachel. When they arrive at their destination, the group meets Kate, a young girl who is waiting on her friend. Kate decides to join the group as they head to a nearby shack out in the woods (the gang had earlier promised to do some chores there for the local bar owner in exchange for a night of free booze at the bar). It doesnít take long for someone to wheel out a projector and some icky snuff movies before the group becomes suspicious and inevitably begin disappearing one by one.

The film may be generic in terms of set-up, plot and theme but it is an impressively shot and at times surprising effort, which works incredibly well on a shoestring budget.

The biggest surprise for me was the solid casting. These unknown stars of tomorrow are all very likeable, believable and sympathetic. The characters are also not as stereotypical as one would expect in this sort of fare.

Carverís strongest point however is the gore sequences, with one incredibly sickening set piece already being talked about by the horror community. I havenít felt physically sore when watching a film in a long timeÖbut I did here!

My only complaint with the film (and itís quite a big one) is that it moves far too slowly and seems overly long. It is close to forty-five minutes before a main character is even attacked. Thatís far too long in my book. Donít get me wrong, plenty scantily clad lads and lasses are cut up and terrorised before then, but we feel no kind of connection to them as we witness it via the projector or during the opening titles.

In conclusion, Carver is a good-looking low budget horror movie. It may not be highly original but itís the first time in a long while that I havenít been able to peg exactly who will survive (if anyone) and what will become of the characters within the first ten minutes. This is gory enough to satisfy bloodthirsty fans but not quite scary enough to intimidate viewers of a more nervous disposition.

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