Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nature's Grave (2008)

Nature's Grave (2008) Dir. by Jamie Blanks

Peter and Carla have a wasted marriage and constant friction. Peter buys expensive camping gear and, despite the protests of Carla, insists they travel with their dog Cricket to camp on the isolated Moondah Beach in the North Coast with his friend Luke and his girlfriend during the rainy holiday. Peter stops in a pub at the Eggleston Hotel and leaves a message for Luke with the owner of the pub. When Peter takes what he believes to be shortcut to the beach, he gets lost and the couple spends the night sleeping in their SUV. The next morning, Peter organizes the campsite and their intrusion into and abuse of the natural environment begins. During the two days, the couple's relationship deteriorates while the nature avenges the bad treatment the couple has inflicted upon it. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on IMDB.com

Nature's Grave has been sitting on my list of film's to watch but never really moved up on my list as other movies that sounded more interesting came out. When I saw it was going to be on Showtime this afternoon I decided to give it a try. My interest in the film stems from its original film, Long Weekend (1978). Yes... this film is another one of those dreaded remakes, and even shared the same name as its predecessor prior to changing its name on release in the U.S. of A. The story between the original and remake doesn't really change that much, but the major difference is how effective the message is. The story is supposed to be about nature fighting back after it is treated poorly.

Jamie Blanks has made some mildly entertaining films before with Valentine and Storm Warning. His most famous probably being the extremely entertaining Urban Legend. I had high hopes for this remake but it fell so short.

James Caviezel heads up the cast, and considering how I just put him on my list of top underrated actors, I was really let down. It felt like he just did the film for a paycheck. Claudia Karvan (Star Wars III, Daybreakers) plays his always angry wife, but has no real effect on the film.

I'm finding it really hard to say anything positive about the film. Even within the planet vs humans sub genre, it is probably worse than The Happening, and that is saying a lot, haha. Jamie just seems to misstep over and over again. There are parts that should be building suspense but instead trample through thoughtlessly. There are parts where you can clearly tell they are trying to build suspense, but fail miserably. For being a married couple there doesn't seem to be much chemistry between characters at all. It makes it really hard to believe they were once married. I think at some point I will have to watch this movie again, but there were parts that I was just confused. The plot would start building and all of a sudden deter as James just starts running pointlessly. Other than a very pleasing gory ending, there really isn't anything positive to say about this film. You guys should know me by now, I don't give out bad ratings to a lot of films but this film is deserving of what it gets.

Entertainment Value: 3/10 Dead Manatees
Cinematic Value: 4/10 Dead Manatees.

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