A good hack and slash movie is sometimes what a person needs to get their mind right when it comes to horror, but sometimes such a movie can make a person whistle low and say ‘damn’. With a starting point that feels as though it could have benefited from a little more exposition that might have set things up in a more effective way, this movie still manages to break free of those few uncertain moments when the main thrust of the movie starts to come through. As the two women that start the movie out are abducted one might still question what’s going on, but when one of them wakes up in a strange forest and has to find her way out it becomes a little terrifying, especially when the men in masks begin to appear. The Voorhees-wannabes are at least somewhat terrifying since their masks and their girth make it clear that the women couldn’t hope to stand toe to toe with them and win. But the intelligence of the men behind the masks appears to vary, which ends up giving the main protagonist a bit of an edge, and no, that’s not ironic wording.
But while this is kind of borderline silly and made just for the gore, there’s also more to it that elevates the movie just a bit, since as the main character encounters other women, who are less than receptive to sticking with each other after more than a few minutes, one can see that she has a brain in her head and she knows how to use it. Upon being encountered by other women, the main character is just as confused as they reveal that each one of them was dumped in the woods, in a box that they easily escaped when they woke. Unfortunately, the protagonist suffers from epileptic fits that grip her now and then and leave her nearly catatonic as she has to ride them out. During the fits she suffers through in this movie however, she notes that when she slips into this state she begins to see the forest around her, but from an entirely different point of view.
As the masked men appear and begin to run the women down, the main character splits from one of the women that found her but is forced to witness, during one of her fits, as the masked man carves the other woman’s face from her skull, literally, with the sharp blade of an ax. She fails to prevent another woman from mortal injury after reaching what appears to be the boundary for this sadistic game of chase but drags her away as two of the hunters begin to fight over the prize. That’s a bit strange, but when one of them emerges victorious, he begins the hunt again, and while the protagonist goes to seek help, leaving the wounded woman against the bole of a tree, the victorious hunter rips her apart. One obvious theme of this movie is that the masked hunters are absolutely brutal and have no qualms when it comes to murdering the women that have been set up for them. Interestingly enough though, the main character eventually comes to realize that there’s a reason for her visions.
The manner in which she proves this deduction is rather gruesome since after accidentally killing one of her fellow captives she removes the woman’s eye to find that several electrical nodes have been surgically implanted behind the woman’s eye, which she figures must mean that the rest of them have been the same treatment. In essence, this means that the game has been rigged so that whoever is behind it can keep tabs on the captives, which would also explain why they can’t go past the barrier that was found earlier, as an alarm will sound and trigger the nodes, which appears to be quite painful. Even after this revelation though, the protagonist finds that one of her fellow women is intent on killing everyone so that she can survive. A game of chase filled with plenty of gore and anticipation ensues as the hunters and the hunted go back and forth when it comes to who’s attacking who, until finally their numbers are whittled down to almost nothing.
This type of hack and slash movie is great since there is a point to it, and yet it still feels a bit chaotic when attempting to figure out the rules and who’s on who’s side if such a thing exists. The reason for saying this is that throughout the movie, allegiances tend to swing back and forth like a pendulum as the hunted side with one another only to become individuals once again when the moment presents itself. Calling this a great movie is nearly possible, but stating that it’s entertaining is very easy, especially since it clings more to human nature than a lot of similar horror movies.