It’s always fun to find films that are similar to other favorite horror films you’ve seen in the past, so I’m going to cover three for fans of Wolf Creek, Hostel, and Wrong Turn.
THE DEPRAVED (2011)
The Depraved is intense and vicious, and is basically Wolf Creek underground.
A group of (stupid) young people hires a local guide to take them to an unexplored world beneath Berlin. They almost immediately have a dangerous run-in with a crazy dude. See, now this is where I’d be like “Fuck this, let’s go back.” But no. They keep going…and are soon falling into precarious situations involving one pitfall after another. The tour guide also admits he’s never been underground before. So they keep going. It’s REALLY hard to feel bad for characters in these movies sometimes.
Needless to say, someone is seriously hurt, the group splits up, and a couple of them meet this weird old man who is a former East German border guard. They put all their faith in him to lead them out to safety. Guess what happens next….
Sure, it’s familiar territory, but there are some superb moments of terror in this one. The Depraved is brutal. Oh man is it brutal. My entire body hurts just thinking about some of the things done to these victims. You’ve been warned.
Thora Birch, the little girl from Hocus Pocus, is all grown up and starring in Train, or what I’d call Hostel on a train. During an international wrestling tour in Europe, a small group of American wrestlers miss their train, but are lucky enough to get offered a ride on another train by a woman who SO looks and sounds like she’s about to lead them into an organ harvesting train ride from hell. So naturally, they get on board.
Train is incredibly intense, scary, and heinous in its depiction of body dissection, but it is also loaded with frustrating situations. All the people who work on the train are creepy as hell—so the kids hand over their passports without question. They’re all WRESTLERS yet they get their asses (and other body parts) handed to them by one big freaky butcher dude.
Worst of all, Thora seems to find her fearlessness and strength only after all her friends are dead…and she’s escaped. She goes back to kill everyone on the train! Good thing her boyfriend showed her a crucial wrestling move earlier…and it’s about time she actually uses it.
Train is a train wreck between awesome tension, terror, and torture and ridiculous character decisions and actions. Just as in Hostel, the kids seem like entitled assholes. And speaking of, there’s a scene of the hottest guy in the film running bare-assed through the train in only his jockstrap. This comes during a game of truth or dare, thanks to a gay character whose sexuality seems to be a big secret—or is it? It’s like all his friends know, but no one wants to say it—except the guy who strips down and runs through the train for him….
I also must point out the ridiculous moment (and there are plenty of them) when the resident horn dog, even though one of his friends is missing, decides to follow a chick hobbling on a cane and conveniently finds something stuffed into a peephole that allows him to get a gander of her showering. It’s such an absurd moment that once again makes it hard for me to feel bad for the idiots in these movies.
A quick glimpse at Bloodlines and you’ll seriously assume it’s just another direct-to-DVD sequel to Wrong Turn. Not to sound un-PC, but the inbreeds all look exactly alike to me. However, they have a really hot redneck brother in this one. And all the fun they’ve been having kidnapping, raping, and impregnating pretty girls is about to come to an end….
Bloodlines is like a hybrid backwoods horror/exploitation/revenge flick, which gives it a refreshing twist. It’s also not as offensive as it sounds. Pretty much all the awful misogyny is implied. The worst exploitation involves the hot redneck brother throwing girls in a ring together to fight to the death—the prize being that he breeds the winner instead of killing her. The catfights are very tame and he never does get around to scoring with any of them.
And that’s because he messed with the wrong chick when he kidnapped Amber, a student just trying to drive to school to get an education. She’s a tough cookie. And she has two loving brothers who are soon heading into the woods to look for her when they can’t reach her by phone. The film is more about Amber and her brothers taking down all these sick backwoods freaks than it is about the horrible things the freaks do to women!
Amber and her brothers are a weird redneck family in their own way. They are all clearly survivalists and hunters. They call each other odd nicknames like “Baby Girl,” and one brother named fricking Bear is also an angry deaf mute. I was getting the sense that these brothers and sister bang each other too. Yet there’s something charming about their little family.
In fact, the whole movie has a bizarre “feel-good” quality. Amber’s other brother (played by cutie scream king Douglas Tait) has a hokey good luck charm that gives the holder strength, and the majority of the violence and pain is inflicted on the baddies! There’s also a quirky dose of subtle humor thrown in that takes off any edge inbreed movies usually have. The hot redneck brother drops some of the best one-liners in the film and there’s also one lunatic chick they have imprisoned who gives a very entertaining, over-the-top performance.
After sitting through the grisly, relentless torture in The Depraved, and Train, Bloodlines was a fun, upbeat way to end a triple-feature marathon of slashers that are like other slashers.