The Gist: Possible SPOILERS: A Royal Marine awakens to find himself imprisoned and forced to fight to the death against inhuman opponents again and again (IMDB). That is the premise and yes, there are only 3 cast members. The gist of this flick certainly sounds intriguing – soldier A.J. Budd awakens in an empty farmhouse, finds a sandwich and some tea waiting for him and then gets attacked by some messed up looking, blue blooded creature. Interesting. Joseph Morgan is the soldier. Lovely. Matt Ryan makes an appearance; also lovely.
So why did I leave this movie thinking it fell flat? Joseph Morgan is certainly a capable actor (there were a couple of hokey scenes, true but hey, he’s Klaus) and there is a mystery about what the hell is going on…for about 35 minutes. It kind of started to become clear what was happening around that mark and the nature of the creature also became obvious. Which is fine but I don’t think it was enough to hold a movie for 1 hour 21 minutes. It’s not a long movie but felt longer than that. There were more than a few slow moments as we watch A.J. try to find a way out and count the number of days he remains trapped in the house. The first time the creature appears, it is a bit of shock and totally bizarre as the silence of the house is filled with its inhuman screech and the calamity of the fight that follows. For the most part though, this is a movie that deals in isolation and handles it well with only 3 actors in the entire flick. I have to admit the repetitive nature of each day being the same reminded me of Edge of Tomorrow.
Final Thoughts: The falling flat part of the flick for me was the general slow, quiet pace that while it added to the atmosphere of isolation and being trapped it just made the pacing of the flick too slow especially since I had the premise figured out early on. This would have worked well in a shorter format I think. Joseph Morgan is easy on the eyes which helped to overlook the general ennui that this flick invoked.