No One Lives junkyard pursuit

MOVIE REVIEW: No One Lives (2012)

By Amy Mead

No One Lives movie poster

No One Lives

Directed by Ryuhei Kitamura 

Written by David Lawrence Cohen

Starring Luke Evans, Lee Turgesen, America Olivio, and  Adelaide Clemens

Betty and her nameless companion (credited only as "Driver") are a couple who are on the road, making a move. Straight away, we can see that there is tension between the couple and things seem more than a bit off in their dynamic. It appears as though Driver has done something terrible to expedite the cross country relocation and Betty seems both resigned and reluctant and there is a sense of despair that seems to emanate from her.  

They find a hotel for the night and decide to get something to eat. Before long they encounter seasoned criminal Hoag and his crew of accomplices while having dinner in a dive bar.

The band of would be robbers have just come from a robbery gone completely awry. One of the crew, Flynn, had an itchy trigger finger when the homeowners showed up to their vacation home unexpectedly, killing them and causing Hoag to call the whole thing off. Hoping to redeem himself for the botched robbery and killing a few people, Flynn set his sights upon the young couple, and targets them, convinced that they are wealthy and can help offset the crew's earlier losses. 

When the couple leaves. Flynn decides to have them run off the road and apprehended by another one of their crew, Ethan, who then holds them captive and attempts to question them about where their money is and how to gain access to their funds.

Things take a shocking turn when in the middle of all this, Betty suddenly gives Driver a speech about how she "can't do this anymore" and suddenly commits suicide by slamming her neck onto the blade Ethan is holding against her throat. This sends Driver into a rage and he breaks free from his handcuffs, killing Ethan. 

Meanwhile, Flynn takes the couple's vehicle and trailer back to Hoag's house and soon makes a shocking and unexpected discovery that changes everything. It seems this couple has been holding a young woman captive in the trunk of their car. Shortly after this discovery, Hoag's daughter realizes she has seen this woman before. She is Emma Ward, daughter of a well to do family, who vanished from a party where many of her friends were violently slaughtered. The crimes, her disappearance, and the two million dollar reward for her safe return have all been highly publicized, and after seeing the story on a rerun of a crime show, the crew thinks they have discovered their golden ticket. But Emma is no cash cow. They have no idea what is in store for them or the lengths that Driver will go to get her back...

WWE Studios film, No One Lives has gotten a lot of flack from many critics but I don't share the general opinion of most of them. I had a lot of fun with this film. I had originally seen the film when it first hit the new release shelves back in 2013 but was distracted during the viewing and didn't give it my full attention. I put the DVD away and then just sort of forgot all about it.  I recently pulled my copy out and gave it a second watch and I was seriously blown away by it. How did I miss all this the first time around? I could kick myself. I have been missing out and if you have yet to see it, so have you. 

While this film is nothing groundbreaking by any means, it is fast moving, entertaining, and if you are into gore, this film should be right up your alley. There is gore aplenty in this action packed thriller and some of the kill scenes are so brutally unrestrained that I was actually cringing and squirming in my seat. There's just something about seeing someone's head being lowered into a metal grinder that does it for me. And the best thing about it? It's practical effects, no fake looking CGI to be had here, folks. It's fucking beautiful. Truly something to behold if blood, guts and gore is your thing and on that basis alone, I can't recommend it enough. I can't help it, I love the gore and Kitamura (Midnight Meat Train) unflinchingly delivers as far as that goes. 

However, that being said, there are a few things I had issues with that many may not be able to get past. some of the acting isn't the greatest and the way this band of idiot criminals are always screaming at each other and making some pretty dumbass decisions gets a little annoying. The acting talent of  Luke Evans and Adelaide Clemens are truly the saving grace of No One Lives. Unfortunately, there isn't much to be had by way of a story line here and at times, the dialogue is flimsy and just a touch annoying. Overall, the story seems like maybe there is something missing and seems a bit incomplete but it was a fun watch for me all the same. There's nothing wrong with a little mindless carnage and blood splatter from time to time, at least not for this girl. 

I give No One Lives 6/10


Posted by Alan Smithee

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