Wednesday, January 25, 2017

All I Need (2017)








DIRECTOR: Dylan K. Narang

WRITER: Dylan K. Narang

CAST:

Caitlin Stasey
Markus Taylor
Rachel Melvin
Leah McKendrick
Sorel Carradine
JT Vancollie
Katie Owsley
Holly Twyford

PLOT:

Chloe awakens to find herself bound and gagged in a room. She only has her bra and panties on and is hogtied. Chloe soon comes to the scary realisation that she's been kidnapped and held captive in a room, she is not the only one. There are many more young women who are in the same situation. Across town, a desperate man is trying to make money so he can better the life of his young daughter. Little do they realise that they are both connected by a mysterious killer.







Looking at the rather impressive poster for All I Need. I went into this thinking I was about to witness another slasher film. We have the group of terrified looking women and a towering killer holding a massive, bloody weapon. I was pumped and ready for another stalk and slash. Devoting an entire year to the slashers of the seventies and eighties, you'd think I'd want something different from my current horror movies, but I can't deny that I still get a kick out of those contemporary slashers as well.

As I began to watch All I Need, it became apparent that this wasn't a slasher at all. All I Need opens just like the pivotal turning point in the Australian Horror film Wolf Creek. You know, that scene where everyone is fine and dandy around the campfire and our main character wakes up in the AM, and as the camera slowly pans back, it's revealed that our character is hogtied and Mick Taylor is actually a vicious serial killer and taken the three main characters captive? All I Need opens in the same way. When Caitlin Stasey's Chloe awakens, and it's revealed that she is in fact bound and gagged in a small room and being held, prisoner.

This movie is a bit of a weird one. It's a movie that has two parallel stories going at the exact same time. So for most of the running time, I was sitting their confused as I wasn't sure what is happening in this movie. In one subplot, we have Caitlin Stasey, and a bunch of girls who are being held captive and one by one are being dragged off by what appears to be a serial killer. The other is a father who is trying to make a life for his twelve-year-old daughter, so he's doing package runs for a mysterious Russian man who calls him on the phone and requests that he does jobs around town. It's all very confusing in the first two acts.

All I need spends its very short running time jumping between Chloe trying to find ways out of this small hotel room while helping the other young women who are also being held captive, to try and escape their fates. At the same time, every single time we switch back to the father and daughter subplot, I thought it killed pretty much all tension in the movie. His story is depressing and dull. So half the movie is spent with the guy wallowing with this father character and the mysterious Russian phone caller. I found myself really connecting and enjoying the Caitlin Stasey subplot, though.

Even though I enjoyed the Caitlin Stasey moments more than the father plot. I have to say that some of the character decisions on the women's parts were pretty idiotic. Also, there are several moments that play really questionable. The fact that Chloe can move a considerable side cabinet by herself, but the towering killer can't push a door open with the cabinet there, it all played really dumb. The big highlight of the Caitlin Stasey subplot is a moment involving a pitchfork and an air vent. It gets gruesome and pretty bloody.

The third act and twist reveal are what made this movie really different for me. This is where the movie gets most of its points as well. There is a little reveal at the end that ties both of these stories together. [SPOILERS] It is revealed that the father has been hired to drain these young women of their blood. A wealthy older woman is using the blood to bathe in so she can retain her youth. It throws this intelligent little 'Elizabeth Bathory' type reveal in at the end, and I really dug it. I enjoyed it for the simple fact that I didn't see it coming. Whoever says they did is lying.

When it comes to the suspense and scares, the movie is pretty devoid of both. I had mentioned earlier that when the film is switching between both of the plots, it kind of kills all tension that is happening in the captive young women story. I also mentioned that I liked the reveal at the end. What would've made the reveal even more messed up is if it was revealed with a Hostel II style 'Elizabeth Bathory' bloodbath scene. Just her talking about the act while enjoyable, it isn't as effective as say, a father walking in on a wealthy older woman bathing in the blood of these young women.

Lastly, the acting is pretty solid. Being an Australian, I'm well aware of Caitlin Stasey. She got her start on a soap opera over here called Neighbours. She also starred in the big-budgeted Australian action film Tomorrow, When The War Began. She's an excellent actress and immensely likable on the big screen. Here she is put through the wringer. She does a lot with her scenes. I thought she was the best thing in this film regarding acting. She can carry a movie, no problem. I hope to see her in more genre films as she does well in these type of movies.







DEATH TOLL: 6

BLOOD AND GORE:

- Someone is heard being killed off-screen.
- A bloodied dead body is seen being dragged off.
- Lots of close up shots of dead women.
- A pitchfork through the foot.
- A pitchfork through the shoulder.
- Fingers are shoved into a bleeding wound.
- Two men are beaten to death with baseball bats.
- A man is stabbed in the hand with a sickle.
- A man is strangled by a noose made of sheets.







All I Need has some very solid ideas behind it. This is a movie that deserves points just for the third act reveal and twist. I didn't see it coming myself, so for that, I'd recommend the movie for a once off watch. Caitlin Stasey carries this film as well. The movie isn't without its problems, though. We have some pretty stupid character decisions, moments that seem questionable and a secondary subplot involving a dad that manages to kill all momentum in the film. This movie is hit and miss for me, but I believe that there were some good ideas, that just didn't come to fruition.


3 comments:

  1. It wasn't what I expected, from the trailer months ago. However I see what they were trying to do. I don't think the two sub plots combining was needed though - Andrew isn't the guy who is the killer, he's just offered the next position. And it's more creepy when the victims and audience aren't given a reason why it's happening or why they were chosen.

    Elizabeth is totally crazy pants, it was a nice nod to Elizabeth Bathory but she just comes off totally nuts in not a enjoyably twisted way haha.

    I love Caitlin Stasey, so I enjoyed her struggle the most. The pitchfork in the air vents part was tense, however I agree with poor character decisions. Instead of potentially losing too much blood, she could have just pushed the blood she did spill down over the pitchfork holes instead of waiting for it to drip properly down.
    Her end game trap was quite masterful though.

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad we agree on the father subplot.

      Oh, I thought it was the father at the end. The killer looked very similar to the father on facial feature level. That's my mistake. Whoops.

      I really thought the Elizabeth Bathory thing was the best part. I found the actress playing her to be quite alluring in an insane way. So yes, she is crazy pants.

      I have also had a big crush on Caitlin Stasey. I think it's her feminist sort of off camera antics and take no shit attitude that works for me as well.

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  2. She's a badass and beautiful and so outspoken it's refreshing. Plus she's great in horror. Uber crush on Caitlin Stasey.

    Yeah cos the Elizabeth Bathory lady says "a position has just opened up", then when Caitlin Stasey unmasks the guy that one has facial hair and different coloured hair & eyes I believe. Cos I originally thought it was him and it just flashbacked to how he got the job, but it turns out he's just starting his job.

    I did like Crazy Pants' "Want vs Need" speech.

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