“There’s no sequel for you.”
Directors: Tero Molin & Tommi Lepola / Writer: Tero Molin / Cast: Rita Suomalanien, Steve Porter, Anna Alkiomaa, Jonathan Rankle, Jani Lahtien, Ville Arasalo, David Yoken, Riikka Niemi, John Lenick.
Body Count: 9
Dire-logue: “Somehow we’re inside a film – a horror film. That’s why things have gone like they have.”
By my recollection, this is the first slasher flick to come out of Finland – land of computers, logs and Lordi. I didn’t know this going in. In fact for some reason I thought it was going to be set on an oil rig. Imagine my disappointment surprise glee lack of any real reaction when I figured out it was set in an abandoned mental asylum…
After the longest ever opening scene, in which a couple survive a car crash and seek help at said institution – we’re talking about 25 minutes or so where about three significant things occur, the rest is just the girl walking very slowly up and down corridors – someone yells “cut!” Hark, it’s another horror film about the making of a horror film.
The film, directed by a Brit-wannabe Hollywood player (who says he wants the film to be the next Saw or Hostel), is called Silent Creek, about a true case where a doctor was killing patients and filming the deaths. Slowly – very slowly – director dude becomes obsessed with snuff films after the crew locate a hidden room with previously unfound reels living in it and decides that his film requires a change of tone.
While most European slasher films tend to add something culturally distracting into the mix, Skeleton Crew merely apes its American contemporaries. Nothing unexpected happens unless you count the sound guy being inexplicably frazzled by a lighting rig and an ending that really makes no sense. What’s left is token lesbianism (why the hell is it now in every DTV film?), seen-’em-all-before slayings and clunky dire-logue. The title of this post translates as “doesn’t he know the film is total crap?” which is what frazzled-sound guy mutters to a buddy early on.
Before his death, sound guy opts out of following the others to safety once the killing has been discovered. Does he vacate? No. He goes to the kitchen and gets drunk, handily debilitating himself in time for the killer’s arrival. And where do the other cast members go? Where did the mental patient and the hulking nurse from the prologue vanish to?
I wanted to find some merit in Skeleton Crew beyond it’s acceptable production values but I’m getting a little pissed with all this same-old hat. While it’s not a horrid film there’s simply nothing remotely original about it beyond it’s geographical origin. Cold Prey may have had a standard plot but it worked its arse off to squeeze every little bit of tension out of it. Skeleton Crew is just cheap and lazy, which is effectively worse than being crap but endearing.