No One Lives
Directed By Ryûhei Kitamura
Starring Luke Evans, Gary Grubbs, Adelaide Clemens
Review by Jordan
Finally, after so many unsatisfactory entries in the revitalization of 70’s exploitation cinema, we have one that feels truly authentic. The trick which Ryûhei Kitamura (Versus, The Midnight Meat Train) has so perfectly employed is playing it completely straight; no faux static or Grindhouse-esque time lapses, just a predictable script delivered poorly with an abundance of excessive gore and an uncountable usage of the F-bomb. Brilliant.
The story is simple. A gang of thieves and murderers kidnap a wealthy couple on a road trip in the hope of scoring some easy money, but unfortunately for them they’ve picked the wrong man to mess with and the roles of hunter and the hunted are quickly reversed. Standing calmly in the midst of the bloody fight that ensues is the enigma of Emma (Adelaide Clemens), a girl who may just hold the key to stopping a killing machine hell bent on ensuring that, well, no one lives. If you think the plot sounds simplistic, wait until you witness the cardboard characters and the roll-call of verbal and physical cliches that are served up… not that I’m complaining; I loved every minute of it!
Luke Evans as ‘Driver’ plays the role with a delightful menace, somehow echoing both The Hitcher and Jason Voorhees with his impact full, almost otherworldly presense, and if he’s a guarantee to return I’d certainly welcome a sequel. Another aspect that clearly warrants praise is the imaginative use of practical-effects driven violence; we see a wood-chipping incident that makes the ending of Fargo look like an episode of Touched by an Angel, a very questionable use of a clipboard and a man emerge from the skin of another (to fully understand that last statement you really need to see it), and these are just three of many. For horror fans, No One Lives is a film that will immediately hold it’s own place in your heart for being able to conjure up the memories of first exploring everything the shoddiest and most controversial genre films the rise of the American nightmare had to offer, and for someone with a more general taste, I apologize in advance if you see it after reading this review.
Ultimately, if you’re prepared to watch a film partly produced by WWE and titled No One Lives, then you should be prepared for what it offers. I was, and I had an absolute blast.
4 sleazy motel owners out of 5