Director: David Twohy
Starring: Steve Zahn, Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant, Kiele Sanchez, Chris Hemsworth. USA. 1h 34m
There’s a lot to like about this thrilling mystery and there’s a lot to appreciate about a psycho thriller which delivers some really cool (hard to kill) characters set on the beautiful islands of Honolulu. Two couples are travelling and enjoying the Eden-like surroundings, fully aware that there are a pair of serial killers on the loose, each couple are highly suspicious of the other but it’s up to the audience to look for the subtle clues and piece together who just might be a pair of deadly psychopaths.
Opening with the wedding camcorder footage Cliff (Zahn) and his new wife Cydney (Jovovich) are preparing for their dream honeymoon, meanwhile Nick (Olyphant) and his beloved Gina (Sanchez) are also looking to relax in the same paradise. On route to the camping site they both become aware of a hitchhiking pair, Cleo (Shelton) and Kale (Hemsworth) the two are quite volatile and everyone is totally convinced they are responsible for some gruesome murders that have happened recently. victims have been found with their teeth pulled and finger tips cut off, obviously someone is trying to hide the identity of the dead and are pretty deranged to go to those lengths. While you’re trying to dismantle the characters, Twohy is chucking in buckets of red herrings, but somehow this manages to make the final big finale twist all that much more juicy.
6 Strangers. 2 Killers. No Getting Away.
With everyone on high alert everyone attempts to try and enjoy their holiday, but can’t help being mega weary of each other . Nick and Gina seem more relaxed, Nick claims to be a veteran and often tracks ahead of the group to hunt animals for food, and Gina having worked in a butchers is incredibly good at gutting animals, traits learned by killing humans or just an honest trades? It’s totally up to the viewers to put on their Columbo Cap and work this mystery out.
“He’s really hard to kill.”-Gina
The film builds a decent amount of chills and thrills. The sinister atmosphere gives it a slasher-esque vibe without the slashing and all set within the glades and beaches of the most beautiful parts of Hawaii, seems unusual for such an action packed violent thriller. If there were more people about it could have been a real slasher but with such a small cast the killing is pet to a minim until the big breakdown towards the end when everything comes out in the wash, the kill count beings to look healthy everything that’s been so tightly wound up is dramatically unspun with style in mad frantic dash.
There aren’t many modern suspenseful tropical thrillers like this, and it’s certainly more elevated than others within the genre; the characters are faultless, the situations believable and the setting is just isolated enough and yet so striking. There is a tiny let down with the mediocre edge of the bitter end but the journey to get there is gripping and so much fun, while also highlighting the duality of relationships and how everyone holds on to something so very different, every psychotic couples…
Related: The Strangers (2008), Death Sentence (2007) Pitch Black (2000), The Ruins (2008), Turistas (2006)
List: Holiday Horrors
Spotlight: Timothy Olyphant