Saturday, 1 October 2016

No One Lives

NO ONE LIVES (2012) is about what happens after a gang of highway robbers pick the wrong victim. They waylay a nameless driver (Luke Evans), and their callous mercenary attitudes collide with an evil beyond their understanding. Ryuhei Kitamura is a director with an eclectic genre CV that includes samurai noir Versus, prison horror Alive, enjoyable hokum about ninja-girl Azumi, 50th anniversary kaiju Godzilla: Final Wars, and the Clive Barker-sourced urban shocker Midnight Meat Train.

NOL weaves together an unsolved-crime mystery with lawless action scenes that build up high tension slowly, towards a killing-spree bloodbath by an archetypal sadistic antagonist who acts like the proverbial one-man-army. A kidnapped heiress adds to a dilemma of confusion, although she’s the only one with any idea what is really going on.

Crossing the borders of imaginative grotesquery, violating subgenre treaties and slasher exclusion zones, and revising familiar elements from the Saw and Halloween series, this engaging thriller explores a viciously sick sense of humour, and charts much specific weirdness - very much to the delight of gore-movie fandom. Finding time for siege mentality, sophomoric/ Tarantinoesque musings, an inevitable cat-fight and various sensational/ splattery fatalities, Kitamura’s latest trick offers grisly fun-time on a tremendously entertaining scale. 

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