The worst thing you’ll see all week: Black Rock

, | Movie reviews


Ever wonder what kind of horror movie Mark Duplass would write? Frankly, me either. But the answer to that question is Black Rock, directed by and starring Katie Aselton, who has worked with Duplass in quirky indie comedy fare like The League and Puffy Chair.

It opens with — stop me if you’ve heard this one — three women going camping. They drive a little boat out to an island utterly devoid of anything resembling scenery or likely camping spots. This being a horror movie, there are bad men out here. When it comes time to toughen up and survive, the scenes play out like acting workshop exercises. “Okay ladies, in this scene, you’re a football team getting psyched for the big game. Go!” They even smack each other on the head to show they’re serious. But this stuff is practically Brando compared to the villain, a pale willowy nerd mistakenly cast as a ruthless war-hardened psycho.

The most notable thing about Black Rock is its take on nudity. Plenty of horror movies include pointlessly titillating nudity. It goes with the territory. Black Rock takes a briefly courageous approach, but quickly turns timid. The actresses put their clothes back on and you’re back to watching a typical horror movie. It all ends in a ridiculous rough-and-tumble finale with all the brutality of a pillow fight, but with bad bruise make-up and a little fake blood.

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