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Mike Barnard

Published June 9th, 2007 | by Mike Barnard

Buried Alive Review

Classification: 18 Director: Robert Kutzman Rating: 1.5/5

Teenagers with dubious morals cavorting around in an abandoned house is an overused setting for a slasher flick, so Buried Alive gets off to a worrying start as four lame-brained college students round up two sorority girls for a trip out to the sticks. If the inevitable hacking off of body parts started within minutes of them arriving, the group comprising a couple of jocks, the ‘smart’ girl, two airheads and obligatory nerd would not be missed. Yet the focus on them parading around blissfully unaware anything is seriously wrong and getting up to no good wears down any patience long before any of the unlikeable bunch meet their maker.

Given the involvement of Wishmaster director Robert Kutzman who has an impressive special effects record including work on Scream, Army of Darkness and From Dusk Till Dawn, it might be expected he would want to show off his skills. Only the addition of Saw star Tobin Bell as a gold digging loon brings any hint of respectability to proceedings, but he has very little joy with a bit-part role as the local crazy old man popping up almost randomly to ensure his pay cheque doesn’t go to waste. It is left to the lustful teens to pop pills, drink beer, get naked and talk garbage at each other – hardly an exciting prospect when the characters are as predictable as a same-sided coin.

The appearance of an axe wielding demon, with a face like Freddie Kruger and a body like a flesh eaten human, might lead to the expectations of the beginning of some serious thrills and blood spilling – his first killing proving a gory treat. Instead there is more of the inane comments and high school fooling around only vaguely amusing if you were in their shoes and had a similarly low intellect. A final slashing session attempts to make up for lost interest before a random double twist suddenly interjects to bring a hasty conclusion: it’s as though writer Art Monterastelli, the co-writer of the new Rambo, has spliced a couple of stock horror film endings together in the hope it doubles up on impact. Clearly he should stick to action movies.

There is no shortage of teen slasher films out there for those who love seeing young bodies sliced and diced, so Buried Alive should be pencilled in very lightly near the bottom of any list for potential viewing unless you really need to see them all or have a fetish for unsatisfying entertainment.


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