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Film Review: ‘No One Lives’ Hits Cinematic Ground with Bloody Thud

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HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Ryuhei Kitamura’s “No One Lives” starts off with enough grit and style that a good horror fan is likely to get their hopes up at the potential fun to come. And so the crash is even greater when that same horror fan realizes that “No One Lives” is going absolutely nowhere interesting and that the first act is its best. Kitamura has style (although it is MUCH better utilized in the underrated “Midnight Meat Train” and cult hit “Versus”) and the cast isn’t bad but the script is simply awful and the movie exists for no other reason than to highlight some nifty makeup horror effects. You can do much better.

As I mentioned, the set-up is pretty great. A couple is on a road trip. Never named but referred to as Driver (Luke Evans) in the credits, the male half of this pair is a mysterious type and the couple’s melancholy dynamic hints at another woman and trouble they’ve left behind. While eating at a middle-of-nowhere establishment, Driver and his gal cross paths with a gang of criminals led by Hoag (Lee Tergesen) and Flynn (Derek Magyar), a pair of bickering alpha males already upset by a recent robbery turned bloody. After a tense encounter, everyone appears to go on their way.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “No One Lives” in our reviews section.

While most of Hoag’s gang, which includes Tamara (America Olivo), Denny (Beau Knapp), Amber (Lindsey Shaw), and Ethan (Brodus Clay), retires to their cabin in the woods, the aggressive Flynn goes after Driver and his pretty girl. He runs them off the road, kidnapping the pair and stealing their car. He thinks he’s going to torture the travelers for their ATM pin numbers, bank account info, etc. He thinks wrong. Before you know it, Driver has escaped and murdered Ethan, heading out to get the rest of Hoag’s gang.

There’s a complication. As Flynn is investigating his new ride, he finds a box in the trunk with airholes in it. The box holds Emma (Adelaide Clemens), a wealthy girl who has been missing for months after a brutal murder at her home. It turns out that Driver is a total psychopath. He has kidnapped Emma, held her for years, and brutally killed dozens of people. He’s EXACTLY the wrong person to cross and he’s going to annihilate Hoag’s gang in increasingly gory ways.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “No One Lives” review.

“No One Lives” stars Luke Evans, Adelaide Clemens, Lee Tergesen, Derek Magyar, America Olivo, Beau Knapp, Lindsey Shaw, and Brodus Clay. It was written by David Cohen and directed by Ryuhei Kitamura. It will be released on May 10, 2013.

No One Lives
No One Lives
Photo credit: Anchor Bay

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