Modern fighting – thoughts on “The Raid 2” and “In The Blood”

The-Raid-2-Mosaic-Poster

The ISCFC loves fighting films – a few days ago, we reviewed martial arts classic “Dragons Forever”, and a few months ago we did modern gem “Ninja”. Today, we’re taking on a couple of brand new films with fighting at their core – one of them the sequel to a modern classic, the other a good old-fashioned (relatively) low-budget actioner starring someone best known for fighting for real. How do they shape up?

I wasn’t as big a fan of “The Raid” as some people. I enjoyed it a lot, but felt there was quite a lot of stuff I remembered from computer games – find a bit of cover, crouch behind it, shoot endless swarms of bad guys, repeat. Perhaps it was the rotten subtitles on the version I saw, which kept dropping out or going “invisible” (white words on white background), but I didn’t feel like it was worth the hype. “The Raid 2”, on the other hand, is a 2 ½ hour beast, a sequel that goes further, with more of…everything, really.

Iko Uwais is Rama, the cop who broke so many people in pieces in the first film, and this time the raid is to go undercover with Jakarta’s biggest criminal gang, not to bring them down but to discover the crooked cops who are on their payroll. This, unfortunately, involves him going to prison for 2 years – but luckily for us, he does get to have an amazing mass brawl in the middle of a muddy quad. The big boss’s son is in prison, so Rama helps him out, gains his trust and works alongside him. Add to this other gangs trying to muscle in on their territory, the son plotting against the father and the crooked cops trying to kill everyone, and you’ve got a recipe for insanity.

The-Raid-2-Riot

The filmmakers clearly want you to bother about the plot of this one – Rama is supposed to be going to prison for a few months, but due to political interference, ends up in there for two years; although if you were expecting them to develop that side of the story in the gigantic running time of the film, you’d be disappointed. What the film does extraordinarily well is the fighting. The martial art of choice is pencak silat, one born in Indonesia and full of amazing close-fighting speed, and Iko Uwais clearly knows his stuff, as the fights are full of speed and incident and incredible precision.

Oh, and violence. Boy is this a bloody film – people get their faces smashed in and shot off, folks get impaled on a whole variety of things, Hammer Girl (her name in the film) uses her hammers to cause the sort of damage you’d expect…and so on. It’s really really violent. But beautiful, weirdly, as there are so many wonderfully filmed set pieces – like “Hero” but in the here and now.

I liked that this film wasn’t one long orgy of shooting and violence like the first one, but director Gareth Evans seems to have put an entire normal-length ultra-violent film in here, then added another hour of gangsters and crooked cops and betrayals. The thing is, I’m not sure a film like this really needs to be quite as long as it is (two and a half hours)- and it’s got an exceptionally downbeat ending, if you think about it for a minute.

So, “The Raid 2” goes over the top with violence, while giving us plenty to chew on, and it’s an enthusiastic thumbs up from me. It feels very very modern, too, but our other film of the day, “In The Blood” feels like it was taken straight from the 80s (with the exception of the gender of the protagonist).

in_the_blood-620x352

Gina Carano is brilliant. She was a kickass MMA fighter, and drew some impressive PPV numbers for her fights until she ran into the (chemically enhanced) Christiane “Cyborg” Santos. After that, someone decided she could make a lot more money acting and not have to get her head kicked in for real, so she made a move. Her first big role was the Stephen Soderbergh-directed “Haywire”, which I loved, and while she’s still not the world’s best actress, she’s not bad and improving all the time. She plays Ava, who marries Derek (Cam Gigandet) after they meet in Alcoholics Anonymous. He’s rich, and his family don’t want him marrying someone like her, who’s probably just after his money, but they do anyway and go for a honeymoon to an unnamed Caribbean island.

We also get regular flashbacks to Carano’s childhood, where she watches her parents get killed (before killing the two assailants herself) and then is brought up by the sort of mysterious fella you get in films like this, who teaches her how to fight extremely dirty and generally look after herself. This is a handy way round the explanation for her being an amazing martial artist, so when Derek falls from a zipline and disappears on his way to hospital, she starts beating her way to the truth.

This is where the film stops making sense, too. I’d suggest stopping reading now (rating: thumbs up) if you don’t want to have it spoiled, as I’m not a good enough reviewer to tell you why otherwise.

Derek is important because he’s an exact bone marrow match for violent gangster Silvio (Amaury Nolasco), who has some rare cancer. The problem is, with the timescale of the film, there’s no possible way Silvio could have known that about Derek before everyone started acting weird. Thinking back on it, it starts to make less sense – unpicking the series of events that led Derek to being kidnapped by Silvio, I’m trying to remember if he had a blood test at any point, and I just don’t think he did. Talking of stuff that makes no sense, what about the bizarre way Derek’s family treat Ava when they come over from the mainland? They seem fairly satisfied that she murdered him and hid the body and just leave after a day or so, never to be seen again.

Gina-Carano-and-Amaury-Nolasco-in-IN-THE-BLOOD-e1396414302333

So, provided you can completely ignore the fact that this film’s plot is a complete house of cards and the merest whisper of wind is enough to send it tumbling, there’s plenty to enjoy. It’s got some great B-movie people in it (as well as Nolasco, we have Treat Williams and Danny Trejo) and Gina Carano is beautiful. No sense ignoring it, and despite being grotesquely large by Hollywood standards (in other words, built like a fit, strong, athletic woman rather than an undernourished waif) she dominates every scene she’s in and when she fights men, she looks infinitely better than when we’re expected to believe some 100-pound woman who looks like she’s never trained a day in her life can beat the crap out of some ripped 200-pound guy (there’s a reason boxing and MMA have weight classes, you guys).

A bit more acting development and Carano could be a huge star, but I think the writers (one of whom only did cheap horror sequels before this, the other wrote “Dumb and Dumber”) need to work on establishing why stuff happens. I annoyed my viewing companion by trying to puzzle out the ludicrousness of the story, and probably when I cheered at the nightclub fight, where women in tiny dresses throw each other around, so sorry about that; but I’m not sorry for still being unable to work out why A followed B in this movie. So watch and enjoy, but don’t whatever you do spend any time thinking about it.

The Coed And The Zombie Stoner (2014)

coed-and-the-zombie-stoner

Finally, a feminist masterpiece we can all be proud of. The Asylum have read the works of bell hooks, they’ve read “The Female Eunuch” and “The Beauty Myth”, and they’ve taken part in a few Reclaim The Night walks. They’ve used all that information and positivity and channelled it into this, the film that could be called the first truly great piece of feminist cinema of the 21st century.

Just kidding! They’ve made a film where women flashing their boobs stops zombies!

This film starts at the point where even the crassest comedy film would go “yeah, this joke is a bit too much for us”. Chrissy is a nerdy girl who’s in a sorority, for some reason, and has a douchebag of a jock boyfriend. The head of the sorority steals her boyfriend, then tells her unless she has a new boyfriend, from a fraternity, in 24 hours, she’ll be kicked out of the sorority, and that will cause her to lose her scholarship. My (American) wife leaned over and said “in case you were wondering, that would never happen”.

Luckily for her, she meets handsome zombie Rigo, but of course doesn’t realise he’s a fully paid-up member of the walking dead. He was created by her science teacher, in a handy coincidence, decades ago, and as he was smoking a joint at the moment of zombification, he’s perfectly preserved, and as long as he has a regular supply of the demon weed, is in no danger of killing people. He’s a nice guy, despite not being able to speak, and the scene where he enrols at ZBE frat (which counts as a subtle joke in this movie) to help out Chrissy is kinda funny.

Of course, he mometarily loses his temper at a party, which causes the virus to start spreading, and that’s the film, as Chrissy, Rigo, the nerds, the jocks and the hot girls have to fight off a zombie epidemic. This is after the scene where Chrissy and Rigo are voted cutest couple, despite him being a mute guy with bright yellow eyes and white skin, and her being a nerd.

"No, we can't both act at the same time!"

“No, we can’t both act at the same time!”

My notes say “haha boobs” and I’ve underlined it several times during the course of the film. The number of jokes that just have a topless woman as their punchline is surprisingly high, and if you like boobs then you’ll definitely find a lot – a LOT – to enjoy. Coincidentally, there’s not a single bit of male flesh on display. Who likes looking at men? Apparently, no-one who’s ever seen an Asylum movie. Or maybe, finding men willing to strip down their undies on camera is more difficult? Who knows.

So, of course there’s a weed-based cure for the zombie virus, and our heroes will need to figure out clever ways to use it. The prototype turns one of the nerds (who seems to be doing a weird Andy Samberg impersonation) into a “woman”, because of course, and as the finished product is in spray form, several people use it to just get high and have sex with each other. Why not, eh? There are a lot of crescendos in this movie, like they finished it and went “whoops, 10 minutes short” and had to shoot a bunch more stuff, only they did that three or four times.

Reviewing a comedy as crass as this seems an exercise in futility, really. If you see the title and laugh, chances are you’re going to watch it and reviews be damned. The annoying thing is, there’s moments where you can see the writer had a decent idea, and even a few where those ideas were executed well, which makes the dross surrounding it even more annoying. The zombies largely go back to their old routines, in a nod to “Dawn Of The Dead”, so you get lots of zombies getting high, or staring at boobs, and in one scene the zombies hold a beauty pageant, with a human host and judges. It’s just, the good ideas in this film are drowned out by the giggling 15 year old heart of the movie who really, really, likes boobs and weed.

There’s a strong hint of “Warm Bodies” in this, a genuinely great film about zombies and humans coming together, which unfortunately reminds us of how not-great this one is. I think there’s something to be said for a film which ignores standards of good taste and just gives it to us with both barrels, but even those films don’t have to be so stupid. So, after a run of films I kind-of liked, we’re back down at The Asylum’s normal level. It feels comforting in a way, like knowing that night follows day.

Rating: thumbs down

A short PS. My first view of this film was from a Youtube channel run by one of the Asylum’s employees, director of photography Laura Beth Love (pictured below). She’s smart and funny and knows her stuff, and helps make the cheap-ass movies look decent (for all its flaws, “The Coed and the Zombie Stoner” looks great). Seeing her behind-the-scenes video made me sad, because there’s a heck of a lot of talent at The Asylum, and I wish they’d channel that talent into something a bit…better? More worthwhile?

Screen-Shot-2014-02-12-at-4.05.43-PM-1024x574

A shorter PPS – for absolutely no reason whatsoever, this film has two different versions of the same poster, one featuring the cast, one featuring two people in the same pose. I don’t care enough to find out why they did it, but have a look at this and tell me if you can figure it out.

Supercollider (2013)

MV5BMTU4MjY1MjUwNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDUyOTUwMjE@._V1_SY317_CR12,0,214,317_AL_

“Panic” films have been with us as long as people have seen a quick buck in convincing people that a normal upcoming event is something to be feared and protected against (at a cost). Every big event – moon landing, Y2K, that ridiculous Mayan Calendar nonsense – has been surrounded by entertainments that imagine what would happen if it all went wrong. And so it goes with “Supercollider”, which ties into the final activation of the Large Hadron Collider.

It’s Robin Dunne! We think he’s great (although we didnt much care for “Space Milkshake” either), and call him “the Replacement Pacey”, because since actually having a recurring role in “Dawson’s Creek”, he’s subbed in for Joshua Jackson in two different sequels – “The Skulls 2” and “Cruel Intentions 2” (whichy, okay, was a prequel, and he’s not playing a similar character, so sue us). He’s Victor Susskind, and he’s ready to flip the switch on his supercollider, funded by billionaire Leo Tarsky (Enzo Cilenti, a welcome return to English-people-are-villains). His wife and daughter arrange to meet him later at a pee-wee football match; and he also gets an email from a colleague with an ominous warning in it.

Now, I need to break away from the review almost immediately. The friend of Susskind’s is killed in a large plaza by a mystery assailant with a poison-tipped umbrella. He’s standing on his own, so the guy prods him and walks away – as he does so, the scientist starts stumbling around and then drops. If I was walking away from someone as they very obviously were in serious medical need, I’d think it would be pretty suspicious if I just kept on walking – plus, all it would take would be for one person to film me on their phone, and my perfect plan would be screwed. If they cared so little about being found out, why not just shoot him?

Anyway, back to the action. There’s a mysterious problem with the collider, which explodes, and we see everyone within a few miles of the place die. Odd beginning for a film, you might think, until Susskind wakes up in a filthy apartment with his friend outside offering him a ride to work…there’s some alternate-universe shenanigans going on here.

Breaking away again, the Joshua Jackson-starring “Fringe” (which Dunne’s own TV series “Sanctuary” could be seen as the poor man’s version of – another link!) dealt with the man in an alternate universe problem brilliantly, by having him keep his mouth shut and try to work things out. Dunne wanders about, all “what’s going on? Where am I? What’s this?” which lands him a lot of suspicious looks and a trip to the local therapist. In this reality, his wife is an alcoholic, his daughter is dead and the world has gone to the dogs, so it’s not surprising he’d a bit confused (I suppose), but he really ought to play it cool a little.

Supercollider_2013_720p_BRRip_h264_AAC_RARBG_00

When he finds his iPhone, and it appears to be from the other universe, to the extent of getting phone calls from his dead daughter on it, things get even more interesting, and the film then becomes him trying to dodge Leo Tarsky’s goons, figure out why there was a problem with the collider in the first place, save his wife, and hopefully restore the “real” universe. He mentions his own as the place where “at least the economy works”, which indicates either an extremely naive or fairly right-wing scriptwriter.

The first thing to say is, despite it not being an Asylum or SyFy Channel movie, it might as well be – there’s a small number of sets, Dunne is the only real name actor in the cast, and it’s safe to say they didn’t have tons of money to make this with. But they try and do interesting things with what they have – the dystopian alternate timeline looks suitably bleak, there’s a decent chase scene buried in there, and just the idea of it seems interesting in a sea of clones which would just stick in the one universe and have the father and daughter on opposite sides of the city, or something.

Without wanting to give this movie too much credit, it’s an interesting idea, and while there’ve been similar ideas before, this one feels like a fresh spin. The villain’s motivation seems a trifle over-the-top, but it’s not all that important in the grand scheme of things. If you can have a motivation be a MacGuffin, then that’s what this is. Dunne is excellent, as per usual, despite having to work with some pretty rough writing, and there’s not really any weak links in the acting stakes either. So, thumbs up for originality and cast, thumbs down for execution.

Rating: thumbs in the middle

maxresdefault

Survival Code (2013)

survival-code

The future is miserable and a bit depressing. I know that (hopefully) long after I die, the world will choke itself because rich people only care about making profit and too many poor people have been tricked into thinking the Kardashians are important people who are worth an instant of your time, but I always hope that more sci-fi will be more like the sort of utopia we deserve, and less like the living hell we’re going to get.

Anyway, Ty Olsson is a great actor, and well worth watching in just about anything. He’s one of the best recurring characters in the history of “Supernatural” and is a decent role away from a decent level of stardom, I think. Luckily for we lovers of things at the bottom end, he’s not got it yet so we get films like this. He’s a former MMA guy who runs a bar as well as being the local customs agent – and we’re immediately introduced to the people who are going to be taking part in this TV series. Sorry, it’s so obvious it’s a pilot for a TV show that I felt bad holding out on the information as long as I did.

It’s set somewhere in Northern Canada. When the opening info-dump told us about the melting of the ice-caps, and how “arctic” things were going, my first thought was “hold on, I didn’t think there was any actual land at the North Pole?” but I was just being tricked a little. It’s 2045, and the gold-rush town at the top of the world features a mix of people of all nationalities, trying to find the last reserves of oil and gas anywhere on Earth.

Survival-Code

You can fill in most of the blanks yourself. It feels a little like SyFy Channel show “Defiance”, just without the aliens – a charismatic lawkeeper, lots of different factions manoeuvring for dominance, weird and wonderful ideas being thrown at the wall to see what sticks. In fact, “Defiance”‘s existence probably sounded the death knell for this show’s potential – there are a lot of reviews of this from when it was first broadcast which sound quite hopeful for it getting picked up to go to series. Sorry, guys!

It looks surprisingly good, so clearly some money was spent on it, and it’s several orders of magnitude more interesting than your average SyFy Channel movie. And it would, truth be told, have made a perfectly decent TV series. I just wish that visions of the future had a bit more of the “Star Trek” about them and a bit less of the dystopian – if we don’t all want to die in an increasingly violent rush for the last natural resources on our planet, we need to start working together, for everyone not just the super-rich. And that sense of “is this what we can expect?” hangs over this film like a smog cloud, leaving a bad taste in the mouth despite a decent cast, some okay effects and a plot that could have supported something ongoing.

Rating: thumbs down

Dragons Forever (1988)

HK-Movie-Dragons-Forever-1988

I’m sure there are tons of reviews of this film out there already – written by smart people with a deep knowledge of both Jackie Chan and martial arts cinema in general, with all sorts of information about the evolving style and the one-martial-art-vs-another undercurrent that seems to feature in so many of these films. But for this one, you’re just going to get the socialist film nerd’s approach…which is probably not original either. But it’s free, so stop complaining!

Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao (the three stars of this film) were all brought up in one of the many Peking Opera Schools, among the last generation to do so. The kids were trained from an incredibly young age in dance, acrobatics and martial arts, and paid off the training “debt” by public performance. This was pretty brutal (Chan’s autobiography goes into some detail on this) but for those who succeeded, they could make a career out of it afterwards – and that’s what happened for the three famous graduates, who started at the school at the same time.

Dragons-Forever-1

The plot to this one is pretty irrelevant, to be honest, as it’s just a hook to hang Three Stooges-level slapstick and insanely complicated fight sequences on. A woman’s fish farm is being threatened by pollution from a nearby industrial laundry (which, it turns out, is a front for a heroin production plant, a twist that any fan of “Breaking Bad” will have spotted) and Jackie is the bad guy’s lawyer. He employs mystical thief Yuen and conman Sammo to try and get the woman to both drop her lawsuit against the laundry, and sell them her farm – and eventually (but not til a really long way into the film) they realise whose side they should be on.

There are two things to say about this film. First and foremost is the astonishingly backward portrayal of women, which starts with Jackie walking through the courthouse, sleazing women into going out with him while his secretary looks on longingly; continues through the fish farm owner and her friend discussing how you should pretty much say yes to any man because you might end up 40 and alone; and culminates with the two women forgiving Sammo and Jackie almost immediately when it’s revealed that they have been working for the violent criminal who’s trying to put them out of business. Oh, I almost forgot that Jackie’s girl (who is an expert witness for the fish farm) being forced by the judge, under oath, to say whether she loves Jackie or not.

Now, I know banging on about this sort of thing says more about the relatively enlightened times we live in now than it does about then; but this film is so awful that it sticks out, even among the late 80s. While watching this and discussing it, my wife asked “so, this film is from the 1940s, right?” with not much irony.

Dragons Forever 1988 m720p-BiRD.mkv_snapshot_00.37.49_[2013.02.22_20.42.06]

The second thing is the magnificent set pieces. There’s a reason I had it fixed in my head that this is my favourite Chan film, and it’s the incredible fight scenes that are dotted throughout. Chan is the best in the world at this sort of thing, with Hung and Biao not far behind, so the stunts are performed at an incredible pace with a degree of difficulty most other stars (or even their stuntmen) could only dream of. The closing fight, where Jackie and Yuen take on a drug plant full of guys, one of whom is Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, former world champion martial artist and looking extra-creepy here with heavy mascara, is just fantastic. Even with the technical advances made since 1988, and the arguably more impressive set-pieces (such as Tony Jaa taking on a nightclub full of guys in a single take), this is still an amazing technical achievement.

It wasn’t a hit at the time in the Far East (all three main guys played against type, and seeing Chan with a woman is a big no-no for his female fans, apparently), but it’s become more of a classic with the passing years – so this review is somewhere between those two poles. The reason it doesn’t work isn’t because they play different sorts of roles than we’re used to, it’s because the plot is stupid and it’s appallingly sexist; and while it deserves to be seen, it needs to be watched with a critical eye. Still, there aren’t many films that combine fighting and broad comedy with as much skill as this one does, so enjoy the incredible display, and the ludicrous comedy.

Rating: thumbs up

Trailer Trash: Truth or Dare

Until someone filled me in about the controversy surrounding the latest series, I must say I’d forgotten about ‘Big Brother’. I suppose that’s been helped by not owning a TV, and generally leading a busy enough life which means Reality TV no longer seeps into my conscious anymore. In those dark procrastinating days when I had oodles of free time I would religiously watch ‘Big Brother’, particularly when it was on Channel 4. In the early 2000s I also watched the only two TV series’ of the UK version of ‘Survivor’ and then in later years I’d fill up spare hours digesting imported MTV fabricated gunk like ‘The Hills’. I think I was hooked on Reality TV. It was visual candy.

In the early days of Reality TV there was a certain naivety about the contestants. They were in it for the cash prizes, competing no differently to those who’d go on ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ or ‘Wheel of Fortune’, but as the popularity of these shows grew, savvier contestants realized that there was a chance to get their fifteen lucrative minutes of fame and make far more money than even the winners of the show. Potentially they could launch a career of sorts by being outrageous, idiotic and desperate. The most tragic example of this was Jade Goody.

Post YouTube vainglorious sorts no longer need to leave their houses and spend a few months contained in a house. Now they can Vlog from their bedrooms, film themselves on their iPhones and reach millions of people with their content. Times are changing and literally anybody can be a star. Clicks and views have become the new currency.
‘Truth of Dare’ contains a mix of Reality TV and the relatively new phenomenon of WebCelebs as “Six college kids find internet stardom when they make “Truth or Dare” videos with a violent twist. It is all fun and games until their number one fan decides he wants to play by his own rules.”

The trailer for ‘Truth or Dare’ is flooded by glowing quotes from critics and an endless list of awards won, which I suppose gives this film a seal of approval. It’s a short, visceral and bloody trailer. We see a greasy haired irate man take a handful of people hostage. There are screams aplenty in what appears to be a gore-filled torture fest of cuttin’, stabbin’ and shootin’. There’s just enough given away in the trailer to make me curious as to whether ‘Truth or Dare’ has any depth to it, or if it’s an orgy of violence fit only for creeps and torture porn junkies.

– RJW

thumbsundecided

The Double (2013)

doub1

Directed by: Richard Ayoade

I’ve yet to see ‘Submarine’, Richard Ayoade’s directorial debut adaptation of Joe Dunthorne’s coming-of-age novel; so for me this is new territory. Before sitting down to write this review I had to scrub away my memories of Ayoade the comedy actor, and all the work he’s done in ‘The It Crowd’, ‘Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace’ and ‘The Mighty Boosh’. I refuse to acknowledge his appearance in ‘The Watch’, or even admit that I actually took time to sit through that god-awful movie.

At first the quirks of ‘The Double’ reminded me of Wes Anderson, Hal Ashby or Bruce Robinson. There’s a wonderful DIY dystopian quality about the film with props seemingly brought from car boot sales and acquired after scavenging Gumtree giveaways. It looks bleak and mundane but fantastically reflects the humdrum existence of the film’s protagonist.

Jesse Eisenberg starts as Simon James, a clumsy down on his luck office worker who’s stuck in the daily grind. Eisenberg spends most of his day working, visiting his ailing Mother and spying on Hannah (Mia Wasikowska), the pretty blonde girl from the office who lives across the street. Simon watches Hannah through his telescope which feels tender rather than creepy. He’s an observer of sorts; equally as helpless as James Stewart in ‘Rear Window’, only his handicap is not a broken leg but some form of social anxiety. Simon is not appreciated by anyone and stumbles through each day. Moments of happiness seem fleeting for him. He retrieves scraps of art that Hannah throws down the rubbish chute and enjoys watching a corny sci-fi show on his TV.

Simon’s life changes dramatically when a new employee begins working at the office, a man named James Simon who looks identical to Simon. Simon is frustrated that nobody notices the obvious resemblance between the two. His colleague tells him that he didn’t notice the similarity because Simon is a “non-person”. As James becomes more and more successful and popular, Simon becomes increasingly more invisible.

James is the opposite of Simon. He’s confident, bordering on arrogant and knows how to charm the pants off everybody. There’s a wonderful little scene in the café that Simon frequents where the moody waitress is given a taste of her own medicine by James. Simon is shocked by James’ assertiveness. He’d never have the confidence to do order bacon and eggs.

Ayoade is able to make this movie nightmarish, but at the same time the film is frequently sprinkled by some delightful moments of humour. Ayoade’s eye for detail blends well with wonderful contributions from a host of strong character actors like Wallace Shawn and Noah Taylor, and cameos from the brightest talents of British comedy like Tim Key and the legendary Chris Morris.

– RJW
8/10

The Double on IMDB

Trailer Trash: Nurse 3D

An eerie whistle opens the trailer for ‘Nurse 3D’, a film which from the evidence presented by this trailer can be defined as an erotic thriller in the ‘Single White Female’ / ‘Fatal Attraction’ mould. We see a group of proud nurses graduating from All Saints Nursing Corps. A perky blonde graduate called Danni (Katrina Bowden) introduces her new friend Abby (Paz De La Huerta, best known as Luzy Danziger from ‘Boardwalk Empire’) to her boyfriend Steve at her graduation party.

IT STARTED AS A FRIENDSHIP flashes across the screen in bold text BUT ONE NIGHT ***suspenseful pause*** BECAME AN OBSESSION. The trailer at this point titillates with some girl on girl action as Abby slips Danni a roofy and takes advantage of her.

Abby is a pouty, minxing seductress with a dark side. Familiar of her work from ‘Boardwalk Empire’, in which she essentially played a whore who spent most of her time undressed and talking in this cutesy Marilyn Monroe tone, De La Huerta seems to spend a significant amount of time in her underwear talking suggestively. De La Huerta has an ounce of acting charisma to deliver the killer lines, which at least presents some intrigue about her character.

There seems to be a key origin story giveaway when somebody in the hospital says to Abby “You look really familiar. You look like my next door neighbour Sarah. They put her in Sunnyview Institute when she was just a kid”. Ok, so that’s why she’s a murderous psychopath. No curve balls, twists or revelations here then, but I wonder what the decision to include that information adds to the trailer since we can kinda guess Abby’s unhinged. It seems rather obvious. Does the trailer need to give away why?

I re-watched the slightly crudely edited trailer for ‘Fatal Attraction’ as some kind of comparison, and at least for the first minute of the trailer things are a little bit ambiguous. It isn’t until a screaming Glenn Close charges at somebody with a kitchen knife that we get to see any real hint of danger. What I’m saying is that there’s enough bait on the hook to keep the potential erotic thriller viewer interested, but not too much to give the whole plot of the film away. Less is more baby. Make us crave something.

Do I want to watch ‘Nurse 3D’?

twothumbsdown