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When I sat down to watch CURVE all I knew was that A- It was a Blumhouse film, which used to mean that you can do no wrong, but now I am very much aware that they too can reach into the bottom of the barrel too in the name of che and ching (THE GALLOWS anyone?) And B- The director behind it was Iain Softley. He did the now cult classic HACKERS (so overrated) in 1995 and the fairly ignored little gem THE SKELETON KEY (underrated - actually gets better with time) in 2005. So what about CURVE you may ask? Did it do right by me? It was all right.
There wasn’t anything too original about CURVE (written by Kimberly Lofstrom Johnson and Lee Patterson). The first act of the film was basically THE HITCHER, the middle was 127 HOURS while the final act was basically any “final girl” versus "psycho that talks too much and can take a whooping" confrontation you can think of. The set-up was actually my favorite block of the picture. Once the other shoe dropped (with one hilarious one-liner from our psycho about his package) the film had me by the collar in terms of having me anxious as to where it was going and what was going to happen to that poor girl. Speaking of the lass, Julianne Hough was killer as our raspy voiced (sexy) heroine! Her mix of tough and vulnerable was convincing and she displayed the necessary intensity. On the flip side of the coin Teddy Sears also hit the spot as the charming fruitcake that went from pervert, to sadist to full on loon! Dude used his classic all American good looks and demeanor in his favor and the result was quite the chilling show. I've read mixed feelings about his performance online - not sure what everybody's boggle is - he owned it in my book! And it's a big f*cking book...
In short; both actors kept me watching, even when the film started losing some steam. Add to all some genuine moments of tension (all about that scene with the killer and the cop... they had me), a handful of revolting bits, Softely’s stylish eye making the whole go down smooth visually and a finale that went all out in the brutality department and you get a decent time killer. Sadly for me, what went down past the set up never lived to, well, the set up! I was hoping the film would take me somewhere more original, somewhere new, but it opted for the "been there done that to death" highway instead The middle section aka girl stuck in car trying to survive the elements while killer taunts her went on for way too long and came with its fair share of WTF bits. For example: why didn’t she heat up her own piss on the fire to get rid of the bacteria before drinking it? Or how is the killer being defeated taking into account her "limited" disposition? Come on...
The same went for the last act which although entertaining was so déjà vu that it took away from the whole. Finally, I’m sure there was some kind of social commentary about “fear of commitment” in there (the killer’s never ending preaching hinted at that and so did our lead gal’s hesitation in terms of her impending wedding), I got hints of it, I just never managed to care enough to really take it into account. All in all CURVE was "okay", it gave us more of the same competently. I just wish it had taken more chances and deviated from the mold a tad. Way too predictable for its own good... oh well!