Monday, September 15, 2008
I watched Unearthed last night. I am not exactly certain what appealed to me about this movie, but I actually enjoyed it in a morbid sort of way. The dialogue wasn’t very good and the plot wasn’t very convincing. However, there was just enough cinematic quality to hold my attention. This is the sort of movie that creates enough suspense to keep you interested in spite of the many flaws throughout the film.
Unearthed drops the audience into the middle of a story. We are introduced to the interim Sheriff, a young female who seems to enjoy stiff screwdrivers or what ever other alcohol avails itself to her at any given moment. We find through a rather vague story line and series of flashbacks that Sheriff Annie Flynn (Emmanuelle Vaugier) was involved in some type of incident that resulted in the death of a young Indian girl. That back-story is never really explained, but might have something to do with the drinking issue. The Sheriff responds to a series of strange inter-connected incidents that include a semi-truck accident, dead livestock and an Archaeological dig site. Because the semi-truck contained fuel for the only filling station in miles, several strangers end up stranded at the small service station. These individuals end up fighting for their lives against an alien intruder that feasts on humans.
The plot here is rather simple. It is a typical adrenaline inducing story with very little substance. The dialogue is tired and not very convincing. The characters come from interesting backgrounds but are not very well developed. There is a rather lame attempt to bring dimension to a few of the characters, but it has the flat disconnected feel of most horror films of this genre. The characters really don’t stick around long enough for the audience to connect. I thought that opportunities were missed to develop a couple of key characters that may have added to the drama. One character in particular, Grandpa (Russell Means) has the potential to connect with the audience but isn’t given enough time or believability to get it done. In the end, we have a cast of characters who cannot deliver much because the writing is simply tepid. The suspense is created out of the situations, which don’t always make sense. It seems like the actions these characters took were forced by the writers and not natural actions, in order to set up events the way the writers wanted them choreographed. In short, the entire exercise seemed manufactured.
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