previously titled THE GIRL
Dir. Jennifer Blanc-Biehn
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
THE GIRL is a low budget thriller that is as deceptive as it is intuitive. Earlu on, the film sets its story as an unnamed father (Michael Biehn) with a history of gruesome kidnappings, sees an opportunity for his next victim. When he takes the girl (Evie Thompson) to his den, his attempts to keep his latest trophy a secret do not pass his son (Tristan DeVan) who attempts to save her from her grizzly fate.
Despite wearing its story on its sleeve, interestingly the film takes a twist and this survival horror becomes an out of this world fight for truth as the vicious hobby becomes an open season to his family.
Biehn's performance is a return to form for the actor who graced our screens so heavily in the 80's and 90's. Yet it is the performance of the two child stars that keep the excitement gripping as innocence prevails in a film that turns its captor into a captive with relative ease. Thompson's naivety plays well to the victim and when the film takes an unexpected turn of events, she kicks it up a gear to rival the Hollywood legend in a screen presence that sees veteran against virgin.
Battling the onscreen survival is only marred by the films low budget that sees a number of scenes, especially those that heavily steer the story on a ner course, feel out of place and take away from the films atmosphere. The intention behind the films big reveal is there but its execution knocks away at the films strength, its tension between hero and villain.
Somewhere in THE GIRL is a great film with some unforgettable performances from its central cast however the hideous soundtrack, amateur visual effects and TV movie extras severely affect the quality of the end product.
The terror inflicted by a twisted Michael Biehn is genuinely one of the best performances of his post ALIENS career but this all feels alien against the low budget the film has. The intention and inventive twist on the genre feels somewhat wasted and poorly executed yet not through poor writing or direction but merely shooting with the limitations of cost. When the film is introduced to more characters, their inexperience begins to show and the cracks start to open which can be forgiving, but not forgotten once the tension has dropped.