Luke Evans (Fast and Furious 6), Adelaide Clemens (The Great Gatsby), Lee Tergesen (Wayne’s World), Laura Ramsey (She’s The Man), Lindsey Shaw (Devolved), America Olivo (Friday the 13th),


Ryuhei Kitamura (Midnight Meat Train), director; David Cohen (film debut), writer; Harry Knapp and Kami Naghdi (Rescue Dawn), producers; Jerome Dillon (The Collector), composer; Daniel Pearl (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), cinematographer; Toby Yates (Midnight Meat Train), editor


A gang of ruthless highway killers kidnap a wealthy couple (Evans and Ramsey) who are travelling cross country in a robbery attempt. However, when they discover a missing heiress (Clemens) in their truck, they discover that their hostages are not all that they seem…


Nowadays, horror flicks seem to be very hit and miss. We get exceptions every now and then like The Conjuring and last year’s Sinister, but they usually lack the plot, characters and – yes – the scares that make a film of the genre so memorable in the first place. This especially rings true for the “slasher” sub-genre, i.e. the type of horror where a group of people – usually dumb, horny teenagers – are picked off one by one by a savage murderer until one “final girl” remains. It’s not that the set-up is bad, it’s that the exact same formula is used over and over again that it has become stale and highly predictable.

Although we’re not going to pretend that No One Lives is going to change it for the better, because if anything it looks like it’s following the basic formula to a tee, it is at least aiming to bring a twisted sense of nonsensical, gore-fuelled fun to a thinning premise.

Ryuhei Kitamura already has one cult horror hit under his belt with the 2008 film Midnight Meat Train, which featured the likes of Vinnie Jones, Leslie Bibb, and a pre-fame Bradley Cooper. Critics who praised that film, based off a short story of the same name, enjoyed the build-up of tension and the ways in which the actual “slashing” were depicted. Everyone could agree, even some of its harshest critics, that it was all a load of fun.

With No One Lives, however, Kitamura seems to have taken a more traditional approach. Out of his new cast, only two are relatively known: Luke Evans, who this year also features in the Fast and Furious and Hobbit franchises; and Michelle Williams look-a-like Adelaide Clemens who is better known for her appearances in The Great Gatsby and franchise-staller X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Not the biggest and best of Hollywood actors, but then neither were Vinnie Jones or Bradley Cooper (in 2008, anyway).

But anyone with a hint of interest in this film isn’t going for the actors; the real star here, like every other horror/slasher flick, is going to be the violence, no matter how ludicrous or over-the-top it may be. Any paying audience member – possibly you, as well, depending on what your movie tastes are – just wants to see the introduced characters get offed in the most fun and imaginative ways possible. Hardly anyone cares about plot or character, as long as there is bloodshed. This is the disturbing, but understandable, equation to draw in audiences who want to go to the cinema to escape into a different world that bends reality like a piece of elastic. And no doubt it’s going to get some people hyped for No One Lives, a film that should please any of its viewers despite not having an ounce of freshness to bring to the genre.



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