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4 young Americans travel to Europe to work as counsellors for a summer camp there. Before the kids arrive, a rage-inducing, demonic disease spread rapidly from animal to person, resulting in the counsellors desperately trying to escape the illness. The camp's in the wilderness, and with the phone service, not any cars , they're desperate too stay alive and get help.
It's just not what I was expecting. Where are the cabins and canoes?
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During the end credits, a woman's voice can be heard. She is reading the news about what happened to the 3 young Americans who were missing. See more »
Interesting Idea, but lacking in execution
It starts off in familiar territory: a small group of young counselors in a remote camp. However, just by reading the movie's summary, you'll already know it's not going to follow the same trajectory as others with this same set-up. The premise borrows heavily from a sub-genre of horror movies such as "28 Days Later" and "The Crazies," where people suddenly suffer from a plague of unknown origin that causes murderous rage (again, part of the brief summary here on IMDb). What it adds is an interesting twist in that the people who are inflicted by this "rage" suddenly snap out of it, and are clueless to what happened while in its grip.
The positive is that multiple people could suddenly go off at any moment; it's not just one person who's suddenly gone insane and the rest get picked off one by one. This adds some tension, but unfortunately the filmmakers seem to only touch on some of the implications of this condition that could elevate the premise from "scary" to "horrific." For instance, the characters all come to realize that they all are infected, and they all cycle in and out of this madness. If the screenplay had been fleshed out enough so that the characters could dwell on the facts that, not only do they not want to kill a friend even in self-defense (especially knowing they'll eventually come back to normal), but there's also now a fear that they themselves might be killed in self defense when they're suddenly in the grip of unstoppable rage.
Instead, the movie careens from one person going crazy (sometimes multiples at the same time) to another, to another, etc. and it becomes tedious. There's no time for character development (although at times the movie adds in nuggets of characters' back-stories which are obviously added for the viewer to feel something for them, but are too sparse to register as anything other than awkward and misplaced), and the constant growling/snarling/attacking starting about 1/3 into the film never ratchets up any tension. By going from 0 to 100 so early and then consistently staying there becomes monotonous and actually reduces the fear factor since it's basically doing the same thing repeatedly.
In addition, it relies way to heavily on the camera shake technique. Not the "found footage" type, but the kind that's meant to convey action, confusion, and chaos (and yes, probably shift attention away from budgetary constraints). That can work well in small doses, but again, when the action starts so early and doesn't stop for an extended period of time, it greatly reduces its effectiveness. The viewer is bombarded with quick-cuts and constant camera-shake which becomes annoying and and pretty much defeats the whole purpose.
I applaud them for an interesting premise, and both the acting and the effects ranged from passable to good. I just think fleshing out the premise and expanding on its implications would have pushed it beyond just another zombie-like "rage plague" movie that many horror fans have seen enough times already.
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