ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Outlander(2009)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Howard McCain

Starring:
James Caviezel/Kainan
Sophia Myles/Freya
Jack Huston/Wulfric
John Hurt/Rothgar
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PLOT-CRUNCH
Alien duder (Caviezel) crashes to earth circa Norway, 709 AD, unknowingly bringing with him a merciless alien creature (they call it Moorwen). The monster goes buck nuts on the locals and our hero has to tag with a group of Vikings to take the motherf*cking beast down.
THE LOWDOWN

It destroyed his world. He won't let it destroy ours.

I’ve been hearing about OUTLANDER for a while now… no big surprise… the Weinsteins are distribution it, so “a while” by their usual standards usually means a couple of years in limbo-hell  if ya know what I mean. Well, I finally got to shoot some arrows at this one’s nggin and I gotta say it, the flick was worth the wait and then some. I freaking loved it!

You have no idea how REFRESHING it was for a schmuck like me to finally see a movie that’s not a remake, a retelling or a McProduct. A film that takes its time to unfold its story, to develop its characters and their relationships (I even pulled a man-bitch at a certain point and teared up – been a while since that happened). A film that tries something new (well old in new ways – everything has been done) and that is not afraid to take chances. It felt swell, real f*cking swell! OUTLANDER was that movie for me. Further proof that the SOLID films seem to go straight to DVD now of late and that the garbage of mass consumption gets the big screen treatment. The flick had me hooked right away with its gripping initial premise that reeked of THE HIDDEN meets the 13TH WARRIOR by way of REIGN OF FIRE and THE RELIC. The cast was astounding (Caviezel and Sophia Myles were amazing together), the score efficient and the pace deliberately slow, but not in a boring way, in a WE’RE TAKING THE TIME TO TELL A STORY MANNER.

What about the horror your may ask? Oh yes it was in the house, starting with the wonderful creature, designed by ace in the deck Patrick Tatopoulos. That little bugger was responsible for many exhilarating, tension filled and uber exciting bits, especially during the second half (that glowing red stuff it did owned me). Then we had the scenery at hand blowing me away and having me spit out “I want to live there” out loud on more than one occasion (flick was mostly shot in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Canada). For a nature loving mate like me, you can’t wrong with a monster mash set within a mountains, lakes and waterfalls heavy ring. Freaking awe inspiring. Add to all that a handful of strikingly executed action set pieces, a proficient score by Geoff Zanelli that hit the right notes and bang on production designs and you get a genre offering that’s well rounded to say the least.

Any beefs with this slab of fun? A couple. Some of the CGI was so-so in execution and the same went for the green screen. Took away from what was happening a tad. There was also a predictability factor as to how the shenanigans would unfold and who would live and who would die that I couldn't shake off. No biggie though, it didn’t hinder my get-down with it much. Overall OUTLANDER just pleased the heck out of me. There was a charm about it that coupled with all of the loving mentioned above, made me totally dig on it. You down with Sci-Fi, monsters and sword wielding Vikings? Have a taste of this genre bending Pot Pourrie and thank me later with your sisters and their cookies.
GORE
We get one “out of left field” beheading that kicked my ass, mangled corpses, some impalings and humans being chewed to Kibbles & you know the rest.
ACTING
I’m a big Jim Caviezel (Kainan) fan, I love him in everything that he’s done and here was no exception. The dude was likeable, intense and even managed to thug my heart strings at a certain point. Gold! Sophia Myles (Freya) put out a mix of strength and vulnerability that made me cry out MARRY ME! Jack Huston (Wulfric) tackled what could’ve been a one dimensional role but in a layered way. Ron Perlman (Gunnar) didn’t have much to do but he sure knew how to play ANGRY well. John Hurt (Rothgar) brought further class to the whole with his solid display.
T & A
None, drop your top already Cazieviel! That was a joke BTW. The pinnacle of my sense of humor today…bugh…
DIRECTING
Howard McCain was sly enough to know when to hold back visually and just TELL HIS STORY and when to double down on style to have the scenarios at hand whoop hard. I liked what I saw!
SOUNDTRACK
The score by Geoff Zanelli delivered in terms of maximizing the mood and tone of the events.
BOTTOM LINE
I read a couple of OUTLANDER reviews after my watch and saw that lots of folks had mixed feelings about it. Hey, to each his own! This twat on the other hand couldn’t get enough of it. Novel premise, strong actors, endearing characters, a cool monster, some suspense, an eye popping setting, able prod design and a f*ckload of Vikings! HOW CAN YOU GO WRONG! Sure the film could’ve slapped more coin in its CGI and if you’ve seen more than one film, the chain of events won’t be too hard to crack, but no matter, OUTLANDER made my day. Not a product, but an obvious labor of love. I NEEDED THAT! Big thanks to all involved! Now give me a sequel!
BULL'S EYE
the production designer on this flick is David Hackl who also directed SAW V.

Director Howard McCain also penned UNDERWORLD 3 and the upcoming retake on CONAN THE BARBARIAN.

Thomas Jane, Sean Bean and Karl Urban were all considered to play Kainan.

VISIT THE OUTLANDER BLOG

VISIT THE OUTLANDER SITE

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