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Black Rock Reviews

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Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 27, 2013
The Duplass gang should stick to comedy. Black Rock is like a nasty misfired attempt at a 70's exploitation movie without really getting it. If you want to see sisters doing it for themselves in this genre then I'm afraid The Descent still remains the only film worth bothering with. I can see why they'd want to change that but this film gets character and stereotype uncomfortably wrong. Any modern film that tries to be new but still relies on the idea that all men are rapists and women have to get naked in horror films gets two big thumbs down from me. This film is pointless and would be forgettable if it weren't so annoying.
MANUGINO
MANUGINO

Super Reviewer

July 16, 2013
Not every island is a paradise.

Good short movie! Black Rock will be slammed by those who deem its survivalist story and "less-is-more" film making as an amateur setback and a non eventful occurrence. It will be praised by those who adore small-scale storytelling and extremely independent film making. You may think it's stupid and boring. I think it was strong and entertaining.

Three women who were good friends in the past get back together for the first time since they were kids to spend time on an island called Black Rock. They meet some local hunters and find out they know one of them from when they were children. After inviting them to join them in a few drinks on the beach, the atmosphere changes into one of panic and horror as the situation and friendships are turned on their head in a brutal confrontation.
Liam G

Super Reviewer

May 30, 2013
At one point in this movie, a character says ''This doesn't feel right.'' I agree.
themoviewaffler.com
themoviewaffler.com

Super Reviewer

June 23, 2013
The well-meaning Sarah (Bosworth) dupes her childhood friends Abby (Aselton) and Lou (Bell) into joining her on a weekend trip to a remote island, despite the fact they haven't spoken in years, thanks to Lou sleeping with Abby's fiance. Once on the island, Lou and Abby begin to bicker but their dispute is put on hold upon encountering three young men, recently dishonorably discharged from service in Iraq, who are on a hunting trip. Abby invites them to join in with campfire drinks and gets herself wasted, flirting with one of the men, Henry (Bouvier). She invites him into the woods but Henry begins to get aggressive with his demands. What follows places the three women in extreme peril.
The use of the word "exploitation" in the phrase "exploitation movie" is often incorrectly thought to refer to the treatment of the actresses who appeared in such films, as they often found themselves in varying states of undress. It actually refers to the exploitation of the audience. These movies were designed to appeal to the base nature of film-goers, going out of their way to provide the sort of cheap thrills we all relish, some more openly than others. Nowadays, of course, we're all far too "sophisticated" for such simple pleasures. This is why critics fawn over Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained', yet wouldn't be caught dead admitting to enjoy Sergio Corbucci's original 'Django'. Exploitation movies today are invariably comedic send-ups of the genre; 'Machete', 'Hobo with a ShotGun', 'Zombies Vs Strippers'; movies which never live up to their titles.
Aselton, refreshingly, has made a straight-up exploitation flick. There's nothing "meta" or post-modern about 'Black Rock'. Its protagonists are identifiably realistic women, rather than porn-stars trying to get their mainstream break. It's a mere 80 minutes long, simply because that's all it needs to tell its primal tale, and it passes those 80 minutes entertainingly enough. The final set-piece is impressively handled by Aselton, recalling Hitchcock's 'Torn Curtain', as the female protagonists realistically struggle to overpower their military-trained antagonist.
It would be easy to call this a feminist movie, purely because it's directed by a woman, but that would negate the fact that many movies from the golden age of seventies and eighties exploitation were indeed helmed by women like Barbara Peeters, Katt Shea and Doris Wishman. This is nothing more than a simple exploitation movie, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Todd S

Super Reviewer

February 20, 2013
Black Rock is one of those rare films that was written by, directed by, and starring the same person. Back in the early days of film, this was common, but today it's rare. While I admire all the work a single person puts into such an effort, the truth is that most of these films turn out to be a little strange, Black Rock is no exception. Three life long best friends decide to reconnect on a weekend retreat, to a small secluded island, where they had a lot of childhood memories. Once there, they run into a pack of hunters. Testosterone and alcohol mix, leading to a vicious assault, leaving one group a member short, and the other group on the run. Katie Aselton is the Writer, Director, & star of this film and while I admire what she put into it, the truth is that it was very predictable and didn't make a whole lot of sense. First of all, these three women, as children were allowed to play on a secluded island in the middle of nowhere, without supervision? It also doesn't make sense that the hunters would be there, when there was seemingly no wildlife, and of course there had to be exactly three of them. Finally, why did three women, spending a weekend alone on a secluded island, bring enough alcohol to fuel a Todd Phillips movie? The whole thing was just a little too weird to be believable, and when you add how predictable this film was, it's just a recipe for disaster. The one thing I liked was the performance of Jay Paulson. He's usually a guy who gets bit parts and guest appearances here and there, but he was very solid and the most believable of the six characters. Aside from that this is a slow, painfully predictable, mess of a film, that really doesn't have a whole lot going for it.
PantaOz
PantaOz

Super Reviewer

July 25, 2013
This American thriller is directed by Katie Aselton, based on a screenplay by her husband Mark Duplass. It is a lean variation on a familiar theme, and there is nothing in there that we haven't seen before. The movie about three friends that reunite after years apart on a remote island premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically on May 17, 2013. Starring Katie Aselton, Lake Bell, and Kate Bosworth it is tense throughout, but I am not sure that Katie's wish to direct "a thriller that audiences would see as realistic" came through. It wasn't bad, though!

I was sometimes annoyed by the lack of intelligence of the female characters and some stupid choices and lack of character logic was sometimes overwhelming! But, following stereotypes and safe way of directing cannot result in anything more that mediocre.

On the other hand, it kept me entertained for the 1 hour and 19 minutes and I didn't mind the flaws! If you have some spare time, and you like girls killing US Iraqi veterans, here is one for you!
DrStrangeblog
DrStrangeblog

Super Reviewer

April 8, 2014
Decent little gender-swapping Deliverance indie from a screenplay by Mark Duplass and both directed & co-starring his The League alum Katie Aselton. There's a little originality as three girlfriends intend to spend a weekend on an island they frequented as children until they run afoul of some dishonorably discharged military men out on a hunting trip, but not enough to give a full-fledged recommendation. Like, the opening half hour in particular is, like, rough sledding as we, like, have to listen to these, like, grown women, like, babble like they're, like, fifteen again. After Kate Bosworth's character lies about having a disease to get her way, it takes a near-fatal encounter to get back on her side again. Most noteworthy moment has Lake Bell giving an extremely convincing teeth-chattering evocation of hypothermia.
July 22, 2013
Really crappy movie, didn't enjoy it, stopped watching it, the storyline and reactions were pathetic.
July 19, 2013
I expected Wolf Creek meets I Spit On Your Grave......what you get is A Perfect Getaway only with an uninteresting storyline and idiotic results and decisions. The "killers" were laughable, they weren't creepy or scary. Kate Bosworth is the only one to die! Strange cause she's the biggest star. Maybe she didn't want to run around naked like the other girls so she said "Kill me off"? That's my guess! I wasn't really feeling the movie at all. It's unfortunate i was looking forward to seeing it. I say PASS.
June 11, 2013
A rare outright misfire from writer Mark Duplass (although based upon a story by another -- the director of the film), Black Rock wants to be a thrilling tale of survival about three young women whose trip to a remote island turns deadly when they encounter three young men whom they invite to party alongside them until the six have a falling out that leads to peril and disaster. Duplass's work tends to be quirky yet somber and this new genre for him isn't a natural fit. Most of the criticism should fall, however, upon the director Katie Aselton who provided the source material, stars in the film and directs it (this is only her second attempt at directing). While the acting is credible, the characters are poorly written and conceived -- as most are either black or white with little gray. Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns, 21) is the most notable face onscreen and her character ends up being the most relatable (although her off-putting antics at the film's beginning make her nearly unlikeable). This is a problem with a whole slew of films. Films with unlikeable characters must have other redeeming qualities (like Chicago ... the razzle dazzle onscreen redeems that film) to make one want to watch a film or recommend it. There is none of that here. Black Rock descends into a bloody mess by the time the end credits roll and I would have been fine with everyone dying -- who dies in the film anyway -- dying within the first 20 minutes to have saved me some time. Yes ... ouch.
July 16, 2014
Black Rock proves that the horror genre is very difficult, regardless of the actors. Here we see some Hollywood B-list celebrities playing out the same old clichés with absolutely no heart. Despite almost no violence, there was an unbelievable amount of nudity, which didn't at all add to the plot. Also, the choice of Iraq veterans as antagonists was pretty stupid. One other takeaway from the film: Katie Aselton is married to an actor, but SHE is NOT an actor. Sorry, stick to guest appearances on sitcoms, because watching you dance around naked on an island was more torture than the fate of any of the characters.
July 13, 2014
Mediocrity at its best!
July 11, 2014
It's a sturdy, popcorn, survival-horror film with a trove of flaws. Sort of a less gritty Deliverance, with less literary intent. You'll probably be entertained the entire time, even if you never want to watch it again.
John W.
July 9, 2014
Two dimensional, undeveloped characters populate this shallow, paper thin plot that depends on a situation so contrived that it's impossible to accept or maintain interest in anything that follows.
Jacob  H.
April 16, 2014
Ok, I think the writers/actors/ directors think this movie is alot cooler than it really is
February 19, 2014
Not awful, with an OK premise, but doesn't really deliver, especially in the second half. This mumble core thing where they don't have a script and improv the whole thing doesn't really work for me either. It's almost always painfully obvious when they are improving.
February 10, 2014
The plot/premise of this movie is paper thin and the "bad guys" are not great actors but you know what makes up for that? Nudity. 2 of the three female leads (director Katie Aselton from the "League" and the smoking hot Lake Bell) take their clothes off for a good 7-10 minute stretch of the film and in a 79 minutes movie that's a pretty solid ratio. Worth the watch right there.
February 7, 2014
This was on the "bad" side of average. This was another movie where I ended up rooting for the deaths of all major characters. Also, there's one point where the characters "strip off their clothes to stay warm". Just 6 minutes of naked girls talking, which needless to say did nothing for me.
FilmGrinder S.
May 14, 2013
73%

I usually love these types of moives, but here, I didn't care for any of the characters.
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