September 3, 2013

The Eves (2012)

"A Spring Break beach trip turns into a waking nightmare in this indie shocker based on true events. When car troubles lead a group of students to seek shelter in an abandoned lodge, dark forces emerge and blood is spilled."

Ever watched a horror movie just because of the picture on the DVD cover? Yeah, me too, all the time. That's how I ended up watching "The Eves" after promising to only watch good movies from now on. Oh well, as far as slasher clones go, it's not that bad. At least the scene with the shotgun-toting blonde occurs eventually.

Thus, although I was expecting something more like "High Tension" or even "Baise-moi", I ended up with yet another bunch of teenagers breaking down in the middle of nowhere and falling foul of a serial killer (or two) in a movie which shamelessly borrows from "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" (1974) and every slasher made since. Presumably, that's how it's "based on true events".

All the usual clich├ęs are ticked off including cell phones not working, teenagers with entitlement issues getting drunk, doing drugs, and having sex before being murdered one by one, and of course, there's the inevitable twist which I have to admit is nicely done here and not predictable at all. It's not overly original either, but it works.

The funny thing is that I actually enjoyed "The Eves", albeit not entirely in the way it was intended. I've never liked the original version of the "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre", and if it wasn't for R. Lee Ermey as Sheriff Hoyt in the remake and its sequel, I wouldn't have watched those. I'm glad I have though, because it amused me to see the same setup being used again by one of these so-called "groundbreaking and innovative" indie horror movies, and my cynicism was constantly being justified.

To give credit where it's due, the acting in "The Eves" is more than acceptable considering that the characters are quite poorly differentiated. Out of the teenage guys, there's a serious one, a quiet one, an even quieter one who looks identical to the previous quiet one, a prankster, a smartass, and all of them are assholes. The three girls are basically two slutty ones (a blonde bimbo who shows her boobs and a kinky brunette who doesn't) plus a more serious blonde who is as normal as any of these stereotypes can be. What their names are doesn't even matter until near the end.

I like the pretty girls.

As in all modern slasher movies, there's exactly enough shown of the potential victims to make you hate them but not enough to allow you to sympathise with them, and then the lacklustre killing spree begins. In fairness, the kills are more realistically handled than having blood spurting everywhere or intestines wriggling all over the place, and the make-up/effects are okay, but there's nothing memorable about them in and of themselves either. The blinding scenes only made me feel a bit bad because they reminded me of a recent news story from China which I wish I'd never read about. "Man's inhumanity to man" is often much worse in real life than anything you'll see in a silly low-budget horror movie although a similar scene at the start of "Borderland" (2007) is just as gruesome.

While "The Eves" isn't particularly scary, some of the scenes manage suspense competently and the background music which accompanies them is complimentary. Unfortunately, nothing here is likely to get a hardcore horror fan's pulse racing. Considering that I am an example of that aforementioned "hardcore horror fan", I watched this movie calmly and patiently without a flicker of emotion whatsoever.

A casual viewer or someone new to the genre might get a kick of "The Eves", but he or she would have to be American and around the same age as the victims to avoid feeling alienated. When all's said and done, "The Eves" is just a cookie-cutter teen slasher aimed at cookie-cutter teenagers rather than someone like me anyway.

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