DVD Review: No One Lives

Published on August 21st, 2013 in: Current Faves, DVD, DVD/Blu-Ray Reviews, Horror, Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

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It’s surprising that horror movies and wrestling haven’t combined forces until recently, seeing as there is such a crossover between fanbases. No One Lives, a WWE Studios production, premiered at TIFF’s infamous Midnight Madness program last year and is now available on home video.

The kind of movie for which trailers should be avoided, No One Lives is suspenseful, action-packed, bloody good fun. A couple (Luke Evans and Laura Ramsey) is moving across the country due to some unpleasant circumstances that are alluded to, but never described completely. Right away, the movie intrigues. The pair soon cross paths with a band of particularly nasty thieves and things get messy fast. Too many modern horror films reveal the entire plot in the first ten minutes, with not only excessive exposition, but also boring analysis of said exposition, in a failed attempt to be deep and meaningful.

This is not to say that horror films, or slasher films in particular, can’t be deep and meaningful, but the responsibility of figuring that out should be the audience’s. Horror film fans are a lot smarter than people might think. That said, No One Lives isn’t particularly deep or meaningful, but it leaves enough unspoken and unexplained to keep you guessing and thinking about it after the credits have rolled.

Although most of the cast members, save wrestler Brodus Clay, are professional actors, there is a distinct feeling of “look at me, I’m acting” taking place in No One Lives. While some may find this amateurish, it actually works in the movie’s favor. One does get the sense that the gang led by Hoag (Lee Tergesen) are a bunch of coarse, foul-mouthed creeps and not just actors playing dress-up. Luke Evans, on the other hand, is smooth-talking, charismatic, but Very Bad News. The collision between this suave sociopath and a bunch of thugs is what drives most of the action of the film, like a battle of who’s the most insane.

Speaking of bags, there is a literal bag of blood in No One Lives. And that’s not all. Director Ryûhei Kitamura has produced a panoply of gore that could gross out even the most hardened horror aficionado, so make sure you’re not eating anything tomato-based while you’re watching.

No One Lives was released on August 20 through Anchor Bay Films and WWE Studios.

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