This film is actually a larger and better overall thought version of Dark Reality (2006) in which Chris Kazmier served as writer, now returns as director and the writer of the mayhem and torture porn, Sxv’leithan Essex, who has extensive work in the horror genre, and delivers a plot involving misogynist freak, called Ghost (Daniel Baldwin (Vampires )) ready to terrorize many women.
Baldwin (an executive producer of the film), who is no stranger to the horror genre, with over 16 credits to his name, understands the material of this dark character Ghost, and does the best job in presenting the sick twisted experiments to the women he tortures and plays a game with the police. The commonly used trick to taunt police, used once more in this film, and the tricks work, but of course no one wants serial hunting the city, however if it was a ball game, the Ghost has a blowout – 85 kills. The lead detective Alex Belasco (James Burns (A Haunting at Silver Falls )) joins with a very stunning FBI profiler Dr. Jesse Metcalfe (Sunny Doench (Coffin )) to hunt for the killer, but no real clues to the killer. Meanwhile, the madman and his mentally challenged sidekick, another cliché in the film, Newt (Arthur Bullock) who carried over from Dark Reality (2006), hold five women practically naked for most the film, as sexual tortures play out in endless debauchery and humiliation. The actresses suffer from the abuse of the Ghost, Essex’s screenplay, and the endless images, positions, and repeat usage of sinister threats. The captives include, Carey, Karen, Kim, Amber and newest acquisition Becca all respectively played by Alisha Seaton, Grasie Mercedes, Lila Dagher (who also appeared in Dark Reality), Anne Girard and lastly Alma S. Grey fret not they retaliate against the captives focusing the hatred onto Newt. The police drama that plays a dead hand in the game runs a typical course of late night television deadpan language and emotion after all his character’s nickname Cold Steel, which provides ample evidence for dismissal from the police department. Sadly, for the audience Essex does not see past the common ground, all imagination falls to the director, whose past experience on the topic, likely runs into walls creating tiresome lacking originality.
What appears on the screen, represents a cross between torture porn and endless circulation of serial killer films, and many of those outclass this darken set of trivial drivel. Kazmier uses an inedited method of transitioning between scenes with nothing but jump cuts. Another issue is when filmmakers cover the topic of serial killers the audience believes that the film bases itself on a true story, especially when the title uses the word ‘Reality’, but not here, and one cannot categorize this as slasher, since no true amount of bloodshed actually covers anything of importance, not even the camera lens. Baldwin delivers the right tempo, and derange killer with purpose to enjoy the suffering of his victims, never hams it up on screen, rather he just outshines the others, simply due to the fact, the other characters are given no true sense of directing and their roles never find themselves fully developed.
The themes of torture, serial killers, and depraved acts, usually bode well for horror fans, yet this movie, brings none of that, the thrills lack, and the suspense comes from the credits rolling, a last gasp we made it to the end. Now that does not mean the film lacks any twists, one exists and might have served better if it started from the beginning rather than the end to open the door to another sequel, however the keenly aware horror fan will understand what it is, as it telegraphed clearly. As the film treads long in the dark one thing becomes clear, the time spent on using Japanese rope bondage and other painful tortures, should be balanced with developing the female captors with more complete three-dimensional characters making a better subplot. Nevertheless, the torture-porn genre, does not involve itself too deeply with the cares of the women victims, a tad sexist, yes, however when the commercial market for this material directs itself to one demographic, teenage boys to young men, then the infliction of stereotypical characters and language echoes volumes for watered down horror. This movie, released by Lionsgate, will satisfy the basic horror fans, but not quenches their thirst for more intense films.
This review was originally posted in May 2015 on Rogue Cinema’s website and had a view count of 1,807.
IMDb Rating: 4.0/10
Baron’s Rating: 4.0/10