Reviews & Counting
# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Running Scared(2006)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Wayne Kramer

Paul Walker/Joey
Vera Farmiga/Teresa
Cameron Bright/Oleg
Chazz Palminteri/Detective Rydell
8 10
Mob beeyatch Joey Gazelle (Paul Walker) see his world go down the crapper when a gun he was supposed to dump in the river accidentally winds up on the streets. Problem is, the weapon was used to off dirty cops and now they, along with the Italian and Russian mob are after the piece. Will he get to it before they do? Will he survive the week? Run Walker run!

 Don't nobody know nobody!-Tombs

RUNNING SCARED is NOT a horror movie. But since it sported more bite, balls, originality and gore than 90% of the genre films I’ve seen this year thus far, I had to cover it, if only to support its recent DVD release. Shame on me for contributing to this movie tanking on the big screen by not going to see it then. Then again the trailer REALLY didn't do it justice and JOYRIDE aside I usually don’t groove much to the movies Paul Walker acts in. Too teeny/trendy for me! Well say hello to Mr. Exception and hopefully a new direction for Walker as an actor. This film was tailored made for this mook!

This bad boy was a fast moving, in your face, adrenaline shot that embraced its R rating. It opened up with an insane bang and once the first back-handing plot turn kicked in, that was that on that, all the best, love and kisses. The film launched its lead character and us into a trip-out, violence laced and twisty-turvey non-stop nightmare. So many elements made this watch such a memorable one, starting with the uber kinetic visuals. It was as if the filmmakers wanted to evoke its lead's emotional state out of us ...worked on me! The flick had me in its grasp with its relentless & on the move camera, countless stylish looks (they must have spent mucho time in Post), its razor tight editing and its novel ways of executing/communicating information through images. Yup! I was in style whore heaven!

Thankfully, it wasn't all flash for nothing! There was some considerable weight behind the eye-candy that upped the impact of the film's cocaine-gritty look! The storyline was solid, the dialogue gripping or/and clever (loved The Duke bit) and the characters/relationships layered and more importantly credible! Big props to Paul Walker for carrying the movie like an Ace, hitting all of the right emotional notes and for managing to sustain a level of hysteria throughout. If Walker would've failed, the film would've failed. I will now keep a closer eye as to what he does next. The same can be said about the rest of the top notch cast, they all owned in their respective roles with Vera Farmiga in particular sticking out. Brains, toughness and drop dead sexy looks, she ably played the wife we all hope to have one day. I was sold!

Then there was the film's ugliness factor hitting hard! Scumbags, thieves, junkies, hookers, pimps, crooked cops, domestic violence and sexual predators, my nose was slammed in the dirt hard and I thanked the film for it. The story's hopeless and evil setting made way for some warped horror to seep in on many levels. Although the extreme and graphic violence gave me many moments of "OUCH" (all about that hockey rink scene) or/and "F*CK YEAH" , it was the "pedophile scene" that succeeded in getting deep under my skin. Without giving too much away, the flick pretty much took a detour for that sequence. It stood out in its flavor (slow paced as opposed to the bulk of the film), surreal production design (very Clockwork Orange), sly use of horror imagery as symbolism  (Nosferatu?) and of course its bitch slapping, twisted content. Now that's what I call a visceral, ambitious and chilling serving! Loved how that scene ended too! NICE! Pummel on top of that genuine moments of tension, gripping shootouts, some primal sexiness, a haunting/engaging score and a last block that had me fighting my tear ducts and you get one of the best film's of the year

On the powder-less side of the bullet, the film did rely too much on coincidences to drive its story forward, but I let that go, in the name of enjoying the ride. And what was up with the CG blood! No matter how good it was, it still looked like CG blood to me.  My main peeve though had to do with the addition of a character "revelation" late in the game. You think you're watching one movie and then it tells you you've been watching another all along. Problem is, I liked the first opus I was watching much more! And the fact that the "revelation" led to some plot holes when looking back and one "ending" too many, bummed me a tad as well. They tried to get their bloodied cake and eat it too with the final frames and it didn't fully work for me. Kinda felt like a cop-out actually.

All in all though RUNNING SCARED highly stimulated me visually, cerebrally, emotionally and on a  gut level! It felt swell to get beaten up to a pulp like a whore holding off on her pimp revenues wise by a flick again. RENT IT OR BETTER YET BUY IT NOW!

Boy does it get messy in this flick! Blood splashing, bullet hits, hockey pucks in face, broken limbs, severe beatings...the works! Too bad some of the blood was CGI...it showed!
Paul Walker (Joey) blew me away with his intense, guttural and grounded show. His incredible performance has earned him my respect (for what's its worth...which means nothing). Vera Farmiga (Teresa) was perfectly cast as the tough wife with a heart! She nailed all of the varied emotional states she had to be in while being hot to trot to boot! I wanna see more of her!

Cameron Bright (Oleg) underplayed perfectly! Never thought much of the kid until now. Chazz Palminteri (Detective Rydell) always makes for a great scumbag! Here was no exception. Nice to see him in a legit movie again! Johnny Messner (Tommy "Tombs" Perello) made for an ice-cold and menacing presence. Great tan on that mofo too!
T & A
It was a free for all! The ladies get some Walker beef butt slabs while we get all kinds of T, A and ,P for you know what. There's even a fairly graphic Walker eating his wife out bit that sure looked real from where I was sitting!
Visual junkies take note as this flick was all over the place...IN A GOOD WAY! Insane shots, crazy POVs, well placed slow-mo, stand-out ways of executing scenes, slick cinematography and striking editing. LOVED IT! FIlm is a visual medium and Wayne Kramer freaking gets it!
We get a somber and back handing score by Mark Isham and some appropriate background "urban" ditties
RUNNING SCARED got criminally ignored at the Box Office and now is our time to set things right. Movies like this have to make moulah, otherwise we’ll be swimming in a stinking, lollipop, PG-13 impotent pool for the next 10 years. Cynical, downbeat, visually arresting, wonderfully acted (Who knew Paul Walker had it in him?), moving and violent as Satan having a tantrum, this bitter pill hit the spot with muscle behind it! Think a 70's type movie but conveyed through modern day aesthetics!

Sure, the flick pulled a fast one on me that I didn't groove to, resulting in final frames that semi let me down, but the badass assault the flick had on ALL of my senses throughout more than made up for that mis-step! This is the true definition of a Cult Classic. It made no money upon its initial opening but I'm certain that with time, it will be a film that people will respect and talk about. Do yourself a favor and run to snatch up RUNNING SCARED! You don't just watch it, you live it! Its the real deal! Just don't buy the Gregory Hines film of the same name by mistake : )

The only real squibs used in the film were in the Hockey rink scene.

The flick was shot in Newark, New Jersey, USA and in Prague for about $17,000,000 clams.