Hey gang, Valkor here. And it’s officially spring time baby (well we’re a few days in as of this piece); and though the weather is still a bit chilly here on the east coast, that doesn’t mean the procession towards warmer and more enjoyable areas has to stop. How does that relate towards this next piece, which drops into MediaView? Two words: Road Trip. But it isn’t all fun and games for this next group in the film “The Culling”; what the hell it wasn’t even fun for me. Spoilers ahead, my friend.
The Culling features five friends – Hank (Chris Coy), Emily (Elizabeth Di Prinzio), Amanda (Linsey Gofrey), Tyler (Jeremy Sumpter) and Sean (Brett Davern), who are taking a road trip to one of the biggest music/tech festivals in the Midwest - South by Southwest (SXSW). But when hunger sets in, the group makes haste towards the nearest eatery – which is unfortunately closed. By chance they come across a little girl named Lucy (Harley Graham) who appears lost and looking for her grandpa, who was supposed to be watching her. Though not everyone agrees – mainly Sean, they finally decide to take the little girl home. And after a lengthy trek, they make it at the little girl’s house, where no one is home. So of course they all decide to wait and sure enough the parents – Val (Virginia Williams) and Wayne (Johnathan Schaech) show up. The two are pretty upset, mainly with the group for hanginging around their daughter and house. But eventually the dust settles, all is forgiven and they make peace with a round of beers and passing of the blunt.
The horror part kicks in when Val goes off to chop some wood and winds up slicing up her leg. Wayne prepares to take her to the hospital, but Lucy objects, wanting to stay behind with Emily, whom I should point out that the two have really hit it off. Once Wayne and Val are gone and the group has settled in for the night is when whatever is spooking up the place starts to make its appearance. It first attacks Amanda, flowing into her mouth in a puff of black smoke. From then on bodies start dropping and it’s revealed that there’s more going on in that house than anyone (other than the viewer) would have suspected, with the end result involving a ritual of some sort.
I thought it would be a good idea to take a break from all the horror, in that way I can let my mind take it easy and prep myself for more scares… and after watching this film, I’m still waiting for those scares to happen.
The Culling starts off with some creepy imagery and I mean some seriously chilling and demented pics that I assumed would be the start of a buttload of scares. And that’s about it.
The Culling is a straight up snoozefest; from the moment it starts to the very end, the film never builds up to anything remotely scary. Sure you get a few shadowy figures lurking in the backdrop and loads of creepy noises, but unless you’ve never sat through a horror film, then this wouldn’t creep you out even if you watched it with the lights out, at 2 AM, sandwiched between Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers. The film spends way too much time attempting to develop the characters that it forgets it’s trying to be a horror film - did we really need that bit with the group along with Wayne, sitting around a fire talking about reality TV? And when the horror parts actually start – about 45 minutes in - then it’s too late and I couldn’t care less. Now I’m usually ok with films holding back on the details because you could always figure out what’s happening, or going to happen, by the action and dialogue. Not with this film! The worse is that there’s no explanation of the motives of the antagonists; what’s Wayne, Val and Lucy’s story? Why are they trapping kids in a barn? Why is there a pit of dead bodies? What’s the deal with grandpa that they are not allowed to speak of? What’s with the ritual at the end? By the end of it all, It’s a mystery you won’t care to know. Finally the acting is pretty ho-hum; it kicks off like any twenty-something road trip film, but it gets annoying real quick. And don’t get me started on how they’re pretty much emotionless when one of their own dies. I mean as quick as they turn on the emotion, they turn it off just as quick. Ugh!
Amanda as she screams to get out of a pit of dead bodies; any time they cut back to her she’s screaming and it’s beyond annoying!
The Culling is bad, simply one of the worst films I’ve ever had to sit through this year. Zeros scares, bad acting and lack of plot explanation makes this film a “must pass”; but should you decide to watch it, keep a pillow handy because it’ll put you out midway. And out of TOV 5 stars, The Culling gets an absolute 0!