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No One Lives

No One Lives
No One Lives

Format: Cinema

Release date: 6 September 2013

Distributor: Anchor Bay

Director: Ryuhei Kitamura

Writer: David Lawrence Cohen

Cast: Luke Evans, Adelaide Clemens, Derek Magyar

USA 2012

86 mins

A young girl is missing, and a couple embroiled in a dark sex game while on a road trip are set upon by a ruthless gang. Things start to go wrong when the gang leader, cocksure thug Flynn (Derek Magyar), notices air holes drilled into the seats of his captives’ car. No One Lives is a genre-fusing gore fest, streamlined for an attention-deficit, post-everything generation. It seems driven by a desire to master and beat every horror filmmaker’s worst nightmare – over-saturation. Action film director Ryuhei Kitamura throws everything at David Cohen’s original horror-thriller script to try to create the unimaginable and the unpredictable, but can this really be done?

The story is a lively, partly cheeky conceit that asks: ‘What happens when a run-of-the-mill, backwater, violent crime operation – the Hoag family – meets a solo super-psycho just known as Driver (Luke Evans), who is fuelled with the strength and tactics of every action hero that has come before him?’ The film is also partly an exploration into Stockholm Syndrome territory, and the warped psychological connection that kidnapped Emma Ward (Adelaide Clemens) has with her abductor. While some scenes start to look at the curious empathy and dependence Emma develops, any complexity loses its charge by the finish. All of this rolls out at lightning speed, peppered with hard-boiled repartee, while Driver’s preternatural carnage is ludicrously orchestrated and slapped on. The pleasure of watching the film is in giving into this and cheering on the anti-hero, but the amoral love story we are invited to take seriously gets a bit abandoned in all the fun.

Nicola Woodham

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