Black Rock

STARRING: Katie Aselton, Lake Bell, Kate Bosworth, Will Bouvier, Jay Paulson, Anslem Richardson.
WRITTEN BY: Mark Duplass
DIRECTED BY: Katie Aselton

Mark Duplass needs to stick to comedies. I realize he also wrote the horror-ish movie Baghead, but I hated that too. His comedies are much better than his pseudo-horror movies. Black Rock is like Deliverance, if the main characters were fucking stupid, and if instead of inbred hillbillies, you have Iraq war vets. Cause we all need to be scared of the men and women of the armed forces.

Black Rock is based on the idea of Sarah (Kate Bosworth) wanting a getaway weekend with her two friends, who don’t speak to each other. So she invited them both out, and made it seem like they were each only getting one-on-one time, instead of a threesome. Lou (Lake Bell) and Abby (Katie Aselton) hate each other. Old pointless drama. Anyway, for the weekend, they decided to go camp out on a small island called Black Rock. Of course, things aren’t so easy. They run into three war vets who are out hunting deer. Abby, feeling functionally retarded, decides to become the least likable person in the trio. She starts heavily flirting with one of the war guys, lures him off into the woods for some drunken hanky panky. Midway through, she decides to change her mind, and now she’s being “raped” because the guy isn’t stopping mid-way. He’s probably as confused as the audience is at this point. She smashes him in the head with a rock and kills him.

This, rightly so, pisses his Iraq buddies off, so they decide they’re going to make these girls pay. For some reason, all three of them must pay. All three of them must die, because two drunk assholes can’t figure their shit out. Sarah, Abby, and Lou fight for their survival on this island, trying not to get killed by the other two guys. It’s all incredibly pointless, and you’ll want to punch Abby in the face before the movie is over.

Congratulations on being the least likable character on screen in 2013. I know, I’m a dude, and I so just don’t understand “no means no”, right? Oddly enough, Katie Aselton (who plays Abby AND directs the film) does a good enough job showing us that Abby is culpable, and knows what she’s doing when she lures him off into the woods. It’s as if Katie’s real horror story here is to tell women to dump their slutty friends, because they’ll end up getting them killed. Rape in film can be a really terrifying moment. Girl With A Dragon Tattoo and Irreversible come to mind. In Black Rock, this is different. Abby didn’t just put herself in this situation, she created the situation. And then she killed someone. And then more people die.

An even greater problem that I have is that we’ve decided to go with the “unstable veterans” route with the killers. Until their friend dies, there isn’t much to suggest that these guys are actually crazy. I don’t know why they had to be veterans, and not just hunters. Add to that a complete lack of suspense, terrible writing, and you’ve got the makings of a craptastic movie. I enjoyed Sharknado much more than I enjoyed this.


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