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There’s a lot of influence in this from films that I count as personal favourites, or at least find very interesting. You can see and feel different bits and pieces from The Last House on the Left, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, even Boogie Nights and quite a few other cult classics. Although I liked it, it unfortunately did also make me think of From Dusk Til Dawn, in that the first half was brilliant and the second… Wasn’t.

I love the set up of a bunch of misfits coming together to try and make a good, cinematic film out of a niche industry that nobody respects, and how that naturally leads them to a remote cabin with a high potential for bad things happening. It’s classic and fresh in the same breath and that’s all really cool. It does fall into a few genre tropes however, both old ones and new, and I found the motivation for the antagonists to be a little weak and cringeworthy, as much as it does tie into the theme of the set up. Sometimes it felt as if the idea was to be grossed out by the relationship between them, and that felt a little mean-spirited. I found that a shame for a film that’s generally quite well crafted. 

As a big genre fan, I love seeing new films use practical effects. This is a really great example of that, and to be honest it’s probably enough to be a cheerleader for it despite its flaws. More often than not, they’re used to great effect and some of the shots where they’re most prominent are actually kind of beautiful in a weird way. I think I can say I liked this overall, but I really wish the latter half was as good as the first.

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