We’ll call it an updated Hansel and Gretel because there’s candy in it.
Acted by Marianne Hagen, Steve Carey, Amy Crowdis, Dan Shaked, Alana Curry, Douglas Nyback, and Mike Nichols.
Directed by Mike Nichols.
A small group of pornographic filmmakers and actors go to a remote cabin in the woods in order to tape people having sex with each other. Almost immediately, they are terrorized by an insane brother and sister duo who might be survivors from something even worse. Sadly, none of it is very conducive to them getting their porno movie made.
I feel bad for this movie. It almost feels like they were trying to do something different but they didn’t have the budget or the talent in front of or behind the camera to really make anything memorable or even very worthwhile happen. The fact that it’s directed by the legendary Mike Nichols of such films as Catch-22, The Graduate and Carnal Knowl…no, it’s not the same Mike Nichols at all. I was fucking with you. This Mike Nichols did something called Dead Calling in 2006. I hope it’s about an evil telephone. BreadCrumbs (as it’s spelt on the IMDB) fancies itself as an edgy, updated homage to Hansel and Gretel, but the correlation between the two is tenuous at best and retarded at worst. I know I’m not supposed to use the word retarded anymore, but fuck you, I’m not talking about your kids or anything. You watch the movie and tell me it doesn’t have just a smidgen of Downs Syndrome.
The movie opens with a woman chained up in a creepy shed of some kind. She has a Sheriff’s badge pinned through her skin on her belly. Someone we can’t see cuts the badge off her chest and she screams loudly as the film fades to the opening credits. Never in the remainder of the film do we find out who she was or why she was chained up or even where the torture shack was located. The only reason the opening scene seems to exist is to set up that bad things are going to happen in the film, which would be fine if it had any relation to the movie that follows it but, since it doesn’t, I call shenanigans.
The cast is instantly forgettable and mostly painful to witness. They are all disposable archetypes who die in the exact order you’d expect. Marianne Hagen plays Angie, the final girl of the picture. She’s an aging porn actress who has decided that the porn shoot they’re on will be her last. It’s like a buddy cop movie where the older cop is all like “I’m getting too old for this shit,” except, instead of shootouts, she’s too old for the dicks of strangers. Hagen tries her damnedest with the material she’s given, but overacts a crucial scene in the climax so horribly that it effectively kills any goodwill you previously had towards her character. Once the crew arrives at the cabin and the creepy brother and sister show up (Patti and Henry), Angie is so instantly trusting of them (even though Henry has a weird design painted in blood on his face) that even when they start acting sinister and hostile, she doesn’t seem to get the hint that they might be the ones causing her friends to die.
The violence is phony looking when practical and even phonier when computer generated. After what could have been a fairly brutal throat slitting, a deluge of terrible CG blood comes pouring out and if I didn’t take writing about bad movies so goddamn seriously, I would have turned the movie off and put the disc in the microwave. Have you ever done that? It’s like making your own mini lightning storm, complete with feelings of God-like awesomeness.
The most disappointing thing about the film is that there’s a truly interesting idea buried so deeply in all the bullshit with the porno crew that, if you aren’t looking for it, it just slips right by. Something truly terrible and insane happened to the teens that are torturing all the redshirts. Their stated reason behind torturing and killing the porn folk is because they “live in a candy house and all candy houses must be burned to their foundations.” Are these kids Hansel and Gretel? Where the fuck did they come from? Do they live in an invisible candy house in the woods? Where’s the witch? Why are they randomly killing the fuckactors? What do they do on their down time? I’m a big fan of filling in the blanks myself with horror movies, but there has to be at least one other interesting aspect to the movie to allow for a vague back story. If the film had told us the story of the kids then it might have been an original take on the Hansel and Gretel tale, instead it’s just Generic Slasher Flick- Part 8,000,000,000.
I don’t want to write about this movie anymore. I think the people were trying hard to do something new and maybe even a little different, but something got lost in translation. Like fear, tension, real character work, cinematography, cool gore effects, pacing, logic, reason and clarity. All those things are missing. What the film does have is an excellent score and…yeah, the score. It’s a good one. The film was a valiant attempt but a failure and not enough of an epic failure to make it worth your time. As I’ve said in previous DVD reviews, if you’re a horror completest then I guess you have to watch it, but if you have time that must be managed wisely then watch Re-Animator or just any old thing from Stuart Gordon again. Hell, start a new campaign on Mass Effect 2. I don’t care what you do, just do something less shitty than this.
The disc has a trailer for the movie that starts automatically and then the movie plays right after. Once the film ends, the trailer comes back on and the film starts over again. I’m not sure if it’s hell, but it’s at least a purgatory of some kind.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars