Review Date: October 14, 2003
Director: Marcus Nispel
Writer: Scott Kosar
Producers: Michael Bay, Mike Fleiss
R. Lee Ermey
I also liked how there were very few plot holes, which actually had me feeling for the kids in question and sympathizing with their very unfortunate situation. Some basic background info on each of the group members also helped me give half a shit about them. The film also lacked any sort of SCREAM-esque pop-culture overkill or dinky soundtrack, both of which were greatly appreciated. In fact, other than the film's first 5-10 minutes, expect very little in terms of "light" moments in this movie. The acting also has to be mentioned as everyone from Biel's cotton top to the nut who played Leatherface to the local hicks to the group of kids leading the adventure in question, came across as believable and genuine. The man who absolutely stole the show though was R. Lee Ermey, the great actor who we've seen swear and beat down on folks for years, but who takes his macho brand of ass-tearing to another level here. Major props to Ermey for giving the film that extra bit of terror. On the downside, I thought some of the "stylish" shots were a little too obvious, like all of those lovely sunrays shining through the forest, the last 20 minutes or so were fun, but felt a little redundant, the "family's" reasonings weren't touched upon in any which way or form, other than to say that the kid was "teased" as a child (hey man, so was I, but you don't see me carving into my next door neighbors, do you...uuuuhmm, seriously though...do you???) and like I said earlier, the fact that I've seen films based on a similar variation of this film's plotline a zillion times before, didn't help me feel any less "been there, seen that" throughout. Having said that, I will give the filmmakers credit for taking a story that has, in fact, been done a zillion times over, and still creating something that rings scary, gory and unsettling.
On a more serious note, I would like to officially start a campaign to nominate Jessica Biel's white tanktop as Best Supporting Actress in a movie this year. I mean really...if it wasn't for that top (although granted, the jeans were also great as supporting actors), I'm not sure if I would truly have believed her character's utter distress and sense of unease. I heard that the shirt was "method" on the set and that it studied under Adler at the Actor's Studio. It showed.