Lightning Media // 2008 // 87 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Steve Power (Retired) // June 11th, 2010
When you wish evil on someone...Evil might be listening.
When a group of misfits get together for a nighttime game of cards in a Los Angeles liquor store, little do they realize they're locked in with a notorious serial killer, who happens to prey on people who hang out in liquor stores. Will any of these freaks make it until dawn?
Cornered! is a film with no surprises. After the first ten minutes, we know who's going to die, have a pretty good idea of how, and a damn good idea who the killer is. This being the post-Saw generation, we also know we're in for a lot of moody lighting and oversaturated colors (mostly greens and reds), and a few gruesome kills.
The cast pulls it off well enough, particularly James Duvall, who I last saw whining to his on screen little brother and running down Randy Quaid in Independence Day, and Steve Guttenberg (Police Academy), who's just as charismatic as always. Yeah, I have a soft spot for Carey Mahoney; it goes with growing up with the first 5 Academy flicks.
With the good out of the way, I can now tell you that Cornered! is slow, damn slow. Agonizingly slow. You're a good half hour or more into the less than 90-minute proceedings when the first body hits the floor. The second doesn't come for almost another half hour. We spend far more time than I'd like getting to know a bunch of moronic horror-film cliches, each with their own quirky character flaw and/or addiction issues that never feel anything but trite and gimmicky. On top of that, the weak script is full of clunky leaden dialogue and gaps in logic large enough to sail the USS Intrepid through. While the production does have a decent look, the direction feels like low rent TV. This is late night Cinemax stuff.
The screener sent to me for review was devoid of any extras, subtitles, or alternate audio options. The transfer was solid, if a little compressed, but the stark colors were captured pretty well. The sound was front loaded throughout, but relatively free of hisses or distortion. It's a competent if completely unexemplary technical effort.
Guilty of being a complete waste for all but the hardest of hard core slasher
fans, who'll probably be disappointed by the relative lack of sickness on
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Lightning Media
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Rated R