May 11, 2006
It’s the classic monster movie set-up: an ancient creature is awakened when a group of young people blast an opening in the cave that it inhabits. Naturally, it isn’t too thrilled at being disturbed and goes on a rampage in the surrounding forest. Originally planned as a vehicle for Dolph Lundgren and set to be shot in Liverpool, It Waits (2004) features a forest ranger named Danielle St. Clair (Vincent) working at one of the outposts in the area. She’s got problems of her own, wracked with guilt over a car accident that she caused resulting in the death of her best friend. Danielle has taken to getting drunk in order to drown her sorrows but is forced to pull it together once a mysterious creature begins a vicious killing spree.
The surroundings are beautiful in this nicely shot film; it’s just too bad that the dialogue is painfully bland. Less dialogue and more action would have improved this movie greatly. It Waits telegraphs every plot turn way ahead of time so that you can easily guess who’s going to get killed next. The director even includes a smart-ass talking bird which comes across as tired and lame.
Cerina Vincent plays our busty heroine (which her tight-fitting tank top emphasizes) with an “edge.” She’s ridden with guilt and in need of redemption. She is unable to emote convincingly and one feels that she was hired because of her looks because even by B horror film standards she can’t act. To be fair, though, she has nothing to work with script-wise. The film teases us as the very fetching Danielle parades around in tight-fitting clothing and even manages to have a love scene but we never see her naked as is customary with the genre. I guess it can be looked on as a plus, as by doing this they are subverting a cliché. At least the film doesn’t skimp out on the gore but this is small consolation. It Waits is supposed to be a horror film and yet the first 25 of its 88 minutes are spent clumsily trying to flesh out Vincent’s character and establish her inner conflict thus forcing us to suffer through crappy dialogue, bad acting and insipid, Jewel-wannabe music. Once the horror film aspect kicks in It Waits resorts to predictable scare tactics that we’ve seen a million times before and in much better movies (like Relic). At the end of the day, this movie is just a cheap riff on the Wendigo myth.
“Blood on the Pines” starts off with a title card warning that this featurette contains spoilers which is a nice touch. The cast and crew praise each other and speak highly of the screenplay (?!). One nice touch is brief insights into how they created the creature.
There is an audio commentary by director Steven R. Monroe and actress Cerina Vincent. She coos about loving the sappy, clichéd songs that Monroe’s wife apparently wrote and sung. They talk about the cold, rainy weather they had to endure throughout the shoot. Monroe dominates the track with mostly technical details with Vincent chiming in occasionally with brief comments.
Finally, there is a trailer for the movie.