Tuesday, 24 November 2015

SAVE YOURSELF - Review By Greg Klymkiw - 2015 Toronto Blood in the Snow Film Festival

Save Yourself (2015)
Dir. Ryan M. Andrews
Starring: Jessica Cameron, Tristan Risk, Ry Barrett, Marcus Haccius,
Tianna Nori, Caleigh Le Grand, Lara Mrkoci, Elma Begovic, Sydney Kondruss

Review By Greg Klymkiw

This movie should be terrific. It isn't.

The premise of Save Yourself is clean and simple. After a successful screening in some nondescript burgh, a babe female director of horror films (Tristan Risk) and her equally babe-o-licious colleagues (including Canuck scream queen Jessica Cameron) are on a road to trip to present their new film at a festival in L.A.

Piled into a van they stop at a nondescript highway road stop to use the little girls' room. The director disappears. As there is no cel phone coverage nor working pay phone, the ladies go looking for her.

Walking across a nondescript American landscape, they stop at a nondescript farmhouse to use a telephone. They're greeted by a creepy, but friendly dude and his equally creepy, though babe-o-licious wife (Elma Begovic). Instead of immediately using the phone, they sit down for tea. They're clearly not that stupid, but they obviously must be. The tea is laced with sleepy-time properties and they all pass out, only to find themselves locked in a dank basement.

Their hosts, it seems, are nazis following in the footsteps of Josef Mengele.

Let the torture porn begin.

A wonderful cast, especially the brilliant, beautiful and talented Tristan Risk are wasted in this style-bereft exercise in futility which also wastes a decent premise due to lame screenwriting and direction which borders on competence, but musters little more than that.

Suffering from a similar problem plaguing too many recent Canadian genre films is the nondescript nature of the setting - no doubt to please American buyers and audiences who are purportly unable to accept anything not American. The lack of a flavourful indigenous setting contributes mightily to the picture's lack of genuine atmosphere. Given the Nazi angle, the film is also bereft of the slightest touches of demented Weimar-inspired fetishistic "qualities".

The movie simply has no sense of place nor much in the way of imagination to buoy the otherwise decent story idea buried beneath the picture's blandness. There's nothing vaguely unique nor intelligent about the proceedings and as such, leaves us with a horror thriller that's not scary nor even mildly suspenseful.

THE FILM CORNER RATING: *½ One-and-a-Hslf-Stars

Save Yourself is playing at the 2015 Toronto Blood in the Snow Film Festival.