DIRECTOR: Rob Willey
Five mates decide to go camping on the coast of Vancouver Island. Once they arrive, it's meant to be a planned weekend of drugs, drinking, camping, and sex. When the friends come across a strange guy and his two Australian surfers friends, they decide to party later on that night. Things turn decidedly sour when one of the girls is almost raped by one of the surfers, and it descends into a weekend of revenge and the group fighting for survival.
Dark Cove is that age-old horror story of a group of friends who go on a road trip with the plan of fun and sun and are thrown into a situation where they are left fighting for survival. The story is one of the oldest and most overly-used plotlines in the realm of horror cinema. While I don't think that Dark Cove constitutes as a slasher, it still uses this familiar plot device in getting this group of friends into the horrific situation that eventually befalls them.
I think when Dark Cove began, I was slightly enjoying it for the most part. The group of friends and their whole dynamic felt really familiar to me. Just in the sense of how the characters are written. We have the jock, our straight-laced mate, the sex-crazed bloke who likes to brag about his conquests and the girls, one shy and one slutty. The guy who brags about his conquest feels like he would fit perfectly into an Eli Roth or Kevin Smith directed horror film. It's filled with that frat-boy type of humour.
The characters in the movie go for a hike, strip off, kiss, flirt, take magic mushrooms, see some fireworks, and this is when our terrible event takes place. Once we witness the attempted rape scene, the movie sort of just spirals out of control for all of what feels like twenty minutes, and it suddenly comes to an abrupt end. I had paused the movie during the carnage thinking the movie had a good twenty minutes to go, only to realise it had just four minutes left. I was shocked as it feels like it builds up to a whimper and not a bang.
After the attempted rape scene, the movie throws all of the characters into a situation where they do something terrible, this is over and done within a minute. We suddenly move onto the next day, his friends come looking for him, a park ranger shows up, we have a chase or two, a few poorly done kill scenes and the film's villain is dispatched of within a few seconds, and the movie suddenly ends. I was left so unsatisfied and underwhelmed with the film.
The entire plot of Dark Cove feels sort of pointless. It feels like it has no real point for existing. It feels like scenes that have been written and strung together, but there is no building to any of the more significant moments in the film. There is no character development for the Australian Surfers, so when they show up, they are merely evil and are killed off. We also don't feel much for the group either. We don't have any backstory besides one character whose sister was raped a year before.
A massive distraction is the terrible performances. The acting is so over the top that it's almost laughable. The worst is Cameron Crosby who plays our sex-crazed bragger. His constant jokes fall flat. He's the comedy relief, but he's sadly not funny. Also, one of the Australian Surfers guys deserves an award for delivering the most over the top performance of 2016. The scene where he rips his shirt off to reveal a creepy back tattoo while he flexes and screams at the top of his lungs is hilarious, not menacing.
Regarding thrills and chills, Dark Cove is entirely sterile. The movie comes across as more hilarious than scary. The terrible acting throughout the movie also takes away from the more dark scenes towards the end of the film. Once the movie picks up the pace and starts to deliver the stalk and chase scenes, it really takes you out of the film when the characters are chewing the scenery during the scenes where it tries to provide the suspense.
Lastly, we come to the blood and gore in this film. Sadly, there is little to be found in the movie. This may be due to the budget constraints. When I see an axe that is the prominent part of a movie poster, I expect to see a lot of carnage involving that said axe. Minus one terrible scene where someone is hit in the spine with one, which we later see no damage done to the person's back, the movie really doesn't have all that much carnage.
DEATH TOLL: 3
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A dead corpse is shown.
- A guy attempts to rape a young woman.
- A man is repeatedly punched in the head.
- A guy has a fit and dies.
- Someone is repeatedly hit with an axe.
- Someone is shot in the stomach.
Dark Cove could have been a movie that dealt with the attempted rape of a woman as a serious story of retribution. Yet the movie tries to add all of this fratboy humour, along with cheesy acting all while containing no suspense or violence. The movie also feels like it's horribly pieced together with an abrupt end. The film is immature and a poorly done attempt at the rape-revenge sub-genre. Watch I Spit On Your Grave or Last House On The Left.