February 13, 2017

VOD Review: All I Need (2017)

"A Tale of Two Movies."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2370228/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
Back in 2013, All I Need (which was originally called Wake in Fear) had to shut down production. When it was ready to resume, star Caitlin Stasey couldn't return to shooting due to landing a gig on the CW show Reign, so director Dylan K. Narang had to come up with something to fill out the rest of his movie.

That something ended up being the parallel storyline of a father struggling to make ends meet for the benefit of his daughter, and knowing why it's a part of the film makes the fact that it doesn't work as well as everything else does, forgivable.

Especially since the good stuff in this movie is really good.
The movie opens with a girl waking up (listed as Chloe on IMDB, although we never hear her name in the movie), bound and gagged on the floor of a filthy motel room. We know nothing about her aside from the fact that she looks really good in her undies, and that she's probably in a lot of trouble, given the corpses of other scantily-clad women that are strewn around the room.

"MMRPHMMGL!"
Switch to the story of Andrew; a down on his luck loser who can't seem to catch a break. He's gotten himself involved with some shady, Russian mobster type who keeps sending him on increasingly shady errands with the promise of easy money. Desperately needing money to support his daughter, Andrew becomes his bitch.

IT'S NOT REALLY A SPOILER TO SAY THAT THIS IS WHERE ANDREW'S PATH LEADS HIM.
As Chloe does her best to escape the room and survive the masked killer who is determined to end her life, and Andrew accepts offer after offer in an attempt to build a stable life for he and his daughter, the two stories intersect, and nothing ends well for anyone.

HOW CUTE. SHE'S TRYING TO ESCAPE.
All I need was a half-and-half sort of endeavor.

On one hand, it's a bloody, disturbing, an intense flick about a girl trying too avoid being carved up by a masked maniac. Being that most of the action involving her storyline takes place in one single room, it's most definitely an exercise in intensity and claustrophobia. The piles of dead bodies that decorated the room made things an extra sort of twisted.

On the other, some of the pacing was off; some scenes lingered far more than they should have, mostly when it came to the 2nd storyline about the guy trying to become a low-level gangster. The intersecting of that storyline with the primary one set in the motel room felt forced... which it was, by necessity, according to the director. As mentioned above, there was a stoppage in production which forced him to invent that secondary storyline just so that he could complete the movie.

It may be lackluster, and it definitely feels out of place, but it enabled the good stuff of the main storyline to be able to be seen, so it served its purpose. And the stuff that makes up the main storyline is an impressive bit of work.

With Evidence, All Cheerleaders Die, I, Frankenstein, Fear Inc., and now All I Need, Caitlin Stasey has quietly been turning into a Genre staple over the past few years. The crazy thing about that is that she's a really good actress. She doesn't speak much in this movie, but she conveys a wide range of emotions just by the looks on her face and the nuance of her actions, which is what the best actors are always able to do. Also, she's ridiculously hot. With her role in Reign, she may be leaving this kind of Genre work behind, but we hope not, because she's an amazing talent, and our Genre needs her!

THAT LOOK SAYS IT ALL.
There are literally piles of dead bodies in this movie, and poor Caitlin Stasey has to sift through them, hide in them, move them... it's all pretty disturbing. There are also a few good kill scenes which are pretty bloody, and a 10-minute sequence where young Ms. Stasey digs a finger into a hole in her body (not that one) in order to survive, which was cringe-inducing on a "holy shit" level. 

MAYBE IT WAS A PORN MOVIE THAT WENT HORRIBLY WRONG?
No nudity, but Caitlin Stasey and her costars spend the entire movie in their skivvies.

IT'S REALLY HARD TO OGLE A DEAD GIRL'S ASS AND NOT FEEL WRONG ABOUT IT...
That damn air vent scene. Sweet Jesus.

PRETTY SURE THAT GLORIA GAYNOR WROTE "I WILL SURVIVE" ABOUT THIS GIRL.
The intersecting story aspect of All I Need made it feel like it was jumping back and forth between two different movies, and that was off-putting, but everything involving Caitlin Stasey was really intense, disturbing, and awesome, so we dug this one overall.

It's definitely worth checking out.

C+

All I Need is playing now on iTunes.

Caitlin Stasey may be the heroine of this movie, but girls like Rachel Melvin and Sorel Carradine helped her out where they could.

Fun fact: Sorel Carradine is Keith Carradine's daughter, BTW, so she's kind of Hollywood royalty.

2 comments :

  1. Gawd....

    I've felt so depressed lately. Besides "Passengers", there hasn't been any genre movies out that are worth a damn. I'll have to check this one out. This is what happens when you get access to stuff before you should, you end up watching everything.

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  2. This was a mixed bag and the relevation was literally tacked on. The fight for survival was pretty good, though. I liked the rawness of sweating and grunting without lousy dialogues making me feel the urge to slap the characters myself.

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