Alice Clarke is a sexually repressed introvert with social and emotional issues stemming from a dark and abusive childhood. Together with her best friend and best friend’s boyfriend, the trio decide to break into a holiday apartment building to spend a weekend in bliss and frivolity – only things don’t go quite as planned. Once inside the apartment, they soon discover a weekend together might have been one weekend too long, and Alice realizes they are not alone. Now, trapped inside with no way out, no power, no water, and running out of food, the weekend of bliss becomes a fight for survival. Admittedly, I had no expectations when I began watching this movie, and you would think a movie rated as low it is on Netflix wouldn’t amount to much, but wow, this hit some high notes.
First and foremost, let me preface this review by warning you that this film is gory, brutal and downright disgusting – and I loved it. I’m not going to give everything away but I am going to reveal some spoilers so stop now if you want to be completely surprised. The filmmakers were proud of their maggots and didn’t skimp on including them when they could. That sentence alone should let you know this film is not one to watch while eating, or after eating, or before eating as you’ll most definitely lose your appetite. Basically what I’m saying is this movie is for people on diets. The opening sequence gives you a glimpse into the upcoming gore with shots of a dead rabbit in a cemetery, rotting away with maggots and flies abound. The sudden shock of seeing this so early on set the tone as one of seriousness and no room for brevity – this is not a Friday night movie to watch with friends. This is for those select viewers who can stomach what’s coming next.
What’s coming next, you ask? Well, just your average gore-filled psychological thriller complete with incest, rape, cannibalism, murder, entomophagy, and hints toward coprophilia. If you’re unsure what those last two are, I’ll let you look them up on your own. Considering the apparent lack of CGI it appears the actors actually eat the insects on screen. Whether or not they swallow them isn’t known but it definitely looks like they put them in their mouths and chew. It sounds shocking, I know, but it doesn’t come across as a movie that tries to be shocking for the sake of shocking. Instead, the people in this situation are left with really no alternatives and do what they must to survive. This, however, is not a blanket statement to excuse Alice’s friend’s boyfriend for the raping and verbal abuse – there’s no excuse for that – but hey, he gets his punishment in the end. The drawings in Alice’s journal are also pretty disturbing and hedonistic, but that sequence isn’t clear if Alice actually drew them or if her friend was just losing her mind. Either way, there’s a lot of messed up scenes in the film and you should prepare yourself for what you’re getting into.
Aside from the disturbing and shocking scenes, the rest of the movie is quite entertaining on its own. The actress playing Alice does a wonderful job bringing us into her world and the way she sees things. The nightmares Alice experiences are incredibly terrifying and brilliantly portrayed – I was pleasantly surprised at the number of times I found myself on the edge of my seat during those nightmare scenes. Some people I’ve read reviews from say they had a hard time keeping up with the movie, and that the ending didn’t make sense. While I understand the last few clips of the apartment in pristine condition didn’t seem necessary, to me, it’s abundantly clear that Alice was keeping the three locked inside the apartment the whole time. This revelation comes when she kills her friend and the electricity immediately comes back on. Alice was trapped in her own sick mind and couldn’t free herself until her two friends were dead. It’s not the film’s job to spoon-feed you the plot if you’re unwilling to follow it.
The plot of three people trapped in a holiday apartment with no one else in it is strongly reminiscent of “The Shining” as well as their apparent delve into madness. That’s not to say this movie isn’t original – to the contrary – this movie is actually one of the most memorable movies I’ve seen this year. I can’t say I’d want to see those scenes again any time soon, but the film is shot so well I think it’s definitely worth watching once.
This movie is…
Not a movie for everyone but definitely worth watching if you can stomach it.
Cheers and goodnight.