Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Hold Your Breath Pre-Release Review

Written By Geoff Meed and Kenny Zinn
Directed By Jared Cohn

Genre
Horror

Cast

Katrina Bowden as Jerry
Randy Wayne as Johnny
Erin Marie Hogan as Natasha
Steve Hanks as McBride
Brad Slaughter as Tony
Seth Cassell as Kyle
Keith Allen as Van Hausen

Certificate TBC


Synopsis

A group of friends on a weekend camping trip find themselves being picked off one by one when one member of the group refuses to abide by the urban myth that you can breathe in evil spirits when passing cemeteries.

Review

I am a horror movie fan and I don't care what kind of horror it is.  Ghosts, serial killers, mutants, I have seen them all.  Some good, some bad and some stupendously bad.

However, I went in to this movie with quite low expectations due to the story line of the spirit of an executed serial killer being able to jump from body to body causing that person to become a crazed murderer.

Sound familiar?  Yep, it's pretty similar to the far superior movie called 'Fallen' starring John Goodman and Denzel Washington.

While similar in story, they've transplanted the serial killer to the 50's but the bodies he manages to inhabit to modern day so that added a little bit more to the story.

What we have here is a bunch of cookie cutter victims but they had potentional to be so much more, which was a shame.  There is something not quite right about the characters, as if they all have something wrong with themselves yet the writer doesn't follow through with that interesting facet of the characters.  Instead leaving them to be little more than stock characters.  The only one of the 'victim group' that shows promise is Kyle, played pretty well by Seth Cassell.  I really wanted to know more about his character and more about the aftermath of what his character goes through.  The disappointment of the movie is Jerry played by Katrina Bowden, from 'Tucker and Dale Vs Evil', who gives a really forgettable performance and ends up being quite unlikeable.  That's a real shame because she was really good in 'Tucker and Dale Vs Evil' and was one of my favourite parts of that movie.

The first half of the movie is mid budget horror movie by numbers and if you have watched lots of horror movies then you pretty much can tell what is going to happen before it actually does.  It improves a bit when they find the asylum / prison, where there's quite a spooky atmosphere yet as soon as that side of things gets going they leave to go to the campsite.

However the second half of the movie is much better with some very inventive deaths.  There's a running 'eye for an eye' theme for each death but the way they make that happen is pretty fun at times.  As a clue, look out for an interesting and new use for an egg whisker.

It's here in the second half of the movie that the under rated Steve Hanks turns up.  Maybe best known as Darcy in 'Dukes of Hazzard', he gives a much better and a lot more cynical performance than in the piss poor movie '12/12/12' that I saw him in recently.

There's also a quite impressive, considering the budget, scene involving the two spirits fighting one another while out of the victims bodies, thanks to a twist in the story that actually surprised me.  I thought that was a pretty cool touch by the film makers.

While not the most original movie in the world, it's not the worst horror movie I've ever seen either.  In fact, it's a pretty enjoyable horror movie with a couple of quite inventive deaths and pretty good performances by Steve Hanks and Seth Cassell.

Switch your brain off and you might enjoy this mid budget horror.  Just don't go expecting an Oscar winner or a massively original story.  Plus, believe me on this one, there are much worse horror movies out there.

Movie 3/5

Released on DVD and Blu-Ray 22nd January 2013

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