- Ax 2013
Clear Lake, WI
Brian Ide, Morgan Simpson, Will Wallace, Dean 'Sundance' Bonham (executive), Dustin Booth (executive), Lil' Joe CEO (executive), Raymond Chan (executive), Charlie Poe (executive), Craig Syracusa (executive) for Liberty Road Entertainment
directed by Brian Ide
starring Dustin Booth, Morgan Simpson, Grinnell Morris, Shi Ne Nielson, Carla Toutz, Heather Simpson, Michael Madsen, Paul Ben-Victor, Audrey Wasilewski, Carson Anne, Anna Klein, Noah Longo
written by Geoff Bullens, Morgan Simpson, music by Aashish Pathak, special effects makeup by Joseph Mistretta
Documentary filmmaker Kyra (Shi Ne Nielson) is doing a movie on a
reverend turned cult leader turned killer (Michael Madsen) who has killed
several inhabitants of his hometown by poisoning the water supply. The
reverend of course has long been executed, but four members of his inner
circle have survived, and two of them, Sam (Grinnell Morris) and Mike
(Morgan Simpson) have since become pretty normal guys who do the best to
deal with their troubled past, while Beth (Carla Toutz) has become a
strung out slut, and Reed (Dustin Booth) seems to have emerged unfazed by
everything that has been happening all those years ago.
Kyra takes them
all back to their village where everything has happened all those years
ago, and that has since turned into a ghost town. In the village, she
plans to shoot her documentary by interviewing the guys in all the
original places - but soon enough it turns out that there is
something weird going on here. Kyra at first blames everything on the
imagination of her four companions, which is bound to be extraordinarily
alert at the place of their ordeal. It's ironic then that Kyra is the
first one who ends up dead, killed. Soon, the others turn up dead one by
one, too, and before you know it, Mike seems to be the sole survivor -
when he's knocked out, and when he wakes up he's tied to a stake and ready
to be burned by none other than Reed who at one point was his best friend.
Turns out Reed has always followed the reverend's path, has continued his
(evil) work, and now he has killed all those who wanted to expose the
reverend's operations, all but Mike ... who somehow manages to free
himself and beat Reed to a pulp subsequently, this way saving himself.
however is not one to be put down too easily, and the next day he shows up
in Kyra's office where he charms her assistant (Audrey Wasilewski) and
steals a file containing Mike's home address from Kyra's computer ...
the most part, this is a pretty good movie, competently telling a mystery
without ever giving too much away carried by a capable ensemble cast. And
there's plenty of tension and suspense in this one too, even if the first
murder doesn't actually happen until late in the film. In the finale
though, the film falls apart when it all of a sudden follows the typical
slasher formula, pulls a killer out of the hat rather than giving its
solution a narrative background, and everything is of course decided in a
fistfight - like ever so often in an US-American film. And there's no good
reason that the killer survives, either, it just follows genre logic
instead of the plot's narrative logic.
Still, this is a rather
interesting genre movie, just too bad so little effort was put into
finding a good finale for it ...