2012 Running time: 86 Certificate: 18 Rating: 3

Synopsis

A squabbling couple (Luke Evans and Laura Ramsey) makes the mistake of stopping off at a backwoods diner where the gurning locals give them a cold welcome. This heats up when the pair are kidnapped and taken to a remote cabin. However, the petrified victims turn out to be not-so-helpless and the homicidal hillbillies find the tables firmly turned against them. Gory fun from Midnight Meat Trainer director Ryûhei Kitamura.

Director

  • Ryûhei Kitamura

Cast

  • Luke Evans

  • Adelaide Clemens

  • Derek Magyar

  • Beau Knapp

  • America Olivo

Review

Thankfully the title turns out not to be the worst spoiler of all time in this gut-wrenchingly gory horror yarn from Asian director Ryûhei Kitamura. Perhaps they should have gone with Not Many People Live.

Things kick off formulaically enough. Buff alph male Luke Evans and his partner (Laura Ramsey) stop arguing long enough to check into a grubby motel and head to the nearest diner for something to eat.

Hanging out at the bar are a gang of Deliverance-style wrong 'uns including Derek Magyar's unhinged psycho Flynn, who we've just seen brutally off a family during a botched burglary.

He decides to torment the out-of-towners and they - terrified of the unwanted attention - appease him but cannot do much when he shunts their car, knocks them unconscious and spirits them off to his cabin in the woods.

Then things get interesting. First of all, Flynn finds a girl bound and tied in the back of the couple's car. Then the male victim turns out to be a little more resourceful than the in-breds realised. And then he starts killing them.

Director Kitamura, who adapted Clive Baker's Midnight Meat Train, throws down the intriguing premise of a gang of backwoods weirdoes who make the mistake of kidnapping a serial killer who's all-too-well versed in the dark arts.

Charismatic Welshman Luke Evans, who shone in a completely different role in Tamara Drewe and is now A-List bound with Fast & Furious 6, may have some pretty duff dialogue to menacingly spout but he makes the most of it.

Unfortunately, this gory stalk'n'slayer soon settles down into a familiar killer-on-the-loose mode with some bloody flourishes, particularly the gang partriarch being dropped into an agricultural grinder.

And yes, someone lives. But we're not saying who.