Release Date: In Limited Release now.
Written by: Mark Duplass and Katie Aselton.
Directed by: Katie Aselton.
Starring: Katie Aselton, Lake Bell and Kate Bosworth.
The first thing that came to mind as we started watching Black Rock, was how similar it felt to a movie called The Hike. The Hike is a 2011 British flick about a group of girls that head out into the isolated woods for a girls weekend, only to be set upon and brutalized by a group of normal looking dudes... There are differences between the two movies, but they are also very similar.
Our review of The Hike can be found HERE.
Aside from the familiarity issue, we were really looking forward to seeing Black Rock. Katie Aselton and husband Mark Duplass are great on FX's The League, and they've both written and directed some decent movies before, so their joint-foray into the Horror genre felt like it was bound to be a good one.
Turns out, it was a middle of the road type of joint-foray.
Kate Bosworth has two BFF's in the form of Lake Bell and Katie Aselton, both of whom are feuding with each other because one banged the other's boyfriend a few years back. Determined to heal old wounds, Kate tells them that she has cancer and only has up to 46 months to live, which totally shocks her BFF's, and makes them decide to put aside their bitter hatred of one another, to give their BFF one last cold, isolated weekend on a shitty island... but surprise, she doesn't really have cancer! It was all a clever ruse. Some BFF she is.
That all unfolds and is resolved in the first 7 minutes of the movie. Yeah.
|"No cancer LOL"|
|Slow-witted, or really high... you decide.|
|"You gon' get raped."|
Typical backwoods Horror tropes ensue.
|They look awful without makeup...|
Lake Bell and Kate Bosworth were the highlights of this movie. Both are extremely likable and come off as such here, despite Bosworth's frustrating lack of sense towards the end. Katie Aselton is someone we usually like too, but her character wasn't very likable, although we suppose that was intended.
It seems as if everyone involved in making this movie had a blast doing so, that's at least pretty cool.
|Aaw, they look so happy.|
And why in the poster does Lake Bell look all kinds of menacing, as if her character has some sort of deep dark secret that's going to drive the movie forward somehow? She doesn't, by the way. No one does. (Drive the movie forward by way of character, that is.)
And if you're going to make a Thriller that relies heavily on story, then make it a good story. If your story is weak, then you go heavier on the action or gore. Hell, most Horror flicks throw in gratuitous sex and nudity to cover up the fact that they mostly suck... So, solid story, or solid visual titillation; you have to give audiences one thing or the other if you expect them to buy what you're selling. This movie kinda half-assed both sides of that fence.
|Come on, man. Titillate us!|
Black Rock is all about the suspenseful thrills, not visceral ones.
Katie Aselton and Lake Bell strip out of their wet clothes, and huddle together for warmth. Naked. Sounds epic, doesn't it? Well, most of it took place in the shadows, and there was absolutely nothing sexy about the scene, so as good as it sounds on paper, there was nothing graphic of exciting about it. Shame, that, because Lake Bell has some world-class boobs. Seriously, Lake Bell does not fuck around when it comes to being hot and buxom.
|God Damn it all, kiss her!|
In the end, Black Rock is just another hollow, barely memorable backwoods Horror flick that smarts in its failings all the more because it wasted such a good cast. Duplass and Aselton are still faves of ours, but this little project of theirs did absolutely nothing for us.
Black Rock is a powerful one indeed, and we especially love Lake Bell. That girl is just a special, special breed of hot. Odd name though. Makes me think of summer camp.