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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Dir. Katie Aselton

Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield

Three childhood friends Abby (Katie Aselton), Lou (Lake Bell) and Sarah (Kate Bosworth) meet up for an escape to a remote island to escape from reality and reunite for a break they won’t forget. Something they certainly won’t. Enjoying the idyllic scenery the come across with three ex mercenaries and spend the evening over a fire and drink. After Abby leads Derek (Jay Paulson) into the woods, a quick fumble leads to Derek raping her and ending up on the blunt end of a rock.

Henry (Will Bouvier) and Alex (Anslem Richardson) then threaten the girls and tie them up arguing what happens next only for the girls to escape and spend the next 24 hours fighting against the dark for survival.

Despite bringing a harsh brutality, BLACK ROCK treads on a territory already dominated by superior films. While there is nothing wrong with the film, it just feels like we’ve been here before. Leading heroines that could combine for a third instalment in the I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE series playing hunter against the hunted, putting their wits against the undefeatable.

The character bonding between the leading ladies asks the question; “Why are they even friends?” Sleeping with each other’s boyfriend, faking Cancer and general bickering between the three doesn’t quite create the bond seen in superior lady lead horrors like ‘The Descent’.

It’s hard to ignore the gritty performances by the cast. Putting everything and taking off everything (cue a naked night hunting in the woods) in their roles. It’s just unfortunate that they bring nothing new. Aselton knows what’s needed to make a taut, tense survival flick and all of the elements are here to say this is worthwhile, which it is, just don’t expect to give it a second watch.

BLACK ROCK hits you with every blow and the intense action really does hit home but without being neither outlandishly gory nor strikingly original, it falls short of being anything more than a watchable experience.

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