MUCK Review


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Release Date: March 13, 2015 (Limited and VOD)
Director: Steve Wolsh
MPAA Rating: NR

One may think starting a horror movie in the second act without any semblance of character introduction, plot setup or locale could be a novel idea – just drop the viewer in and away we go. Unfortunately, in the case of Muck, this method proves to be a terrible idea, one of many that plague this reprehensible excuse for a horror film.

We begin with a group of truly unlikable twenty-somethings emerging from a swamp battered and injured, looking for shelter and a way to call for help. We have no clue as to what caused their misfortune; all we know is that the men appear to be assholes and the women have lost most of their clothing. They find an unoccupied vacation home that they immediately use to begin drinking and periodically removing or changing their clothing.

One person decides to go find help for the group, which includes his girlfriend and his critically injured friend, yet he takes the time to stop at a bar on the way to take shots of tequila and selfies with some random girls that look to be made of more plastic than flesh. Meanwhile, the survivors left in the house begin getting picked off by a mysterious tribe of some sort.

Director Steve Wolsh was clearly trying to channel classic exploitation films, but only manages to include the boobs and butts and omits all the campy style of the teen slashers from the ’70s and ’80s. The end result is scene after scene of random women getting themselves undressed while ogling at and stroking their bodies in a mirror, with little to no relevance to the plot. This incessantly repeated trope is so overtly exploitative that it’s not even the slightest bit amusing.

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Everything feels so shamelessly derivative of other, better, horror movies that the entire experience of Muck will leave most wondering why they wasted their time watching it. The film takes place in a fictional town called West Craven (get it?), and during one pointless scene, one of the more douche-y characters talks about how the town used to be cool but hasn’t anything good happen in a long time.

There’s also the goofball horny friend that points out how each of them is a stereotype of a horror movie character, but he does nothing with this knowledge. When The Cabin in the Woods played with the idea of teen slasher archetypes, they subverted the tropes and poked fun at them. In Muck, the filmmakers just play into it, essentially embodying everything that the film itself is trying to make fun of but not in an ironic way.

There’s also a scene in a bar that features a bartender wearing a t-shirt of the production company that made this film. This may have been an attempt at including another cheeky Easter egg, but it wound up looking like brazen self-promotion.

Kane Hodder plays one of the nonsensical albino creatures terrorizing the friends, and he is the only character that works within the actual moments of horror, which never feel scary or original. The filmmakers appear to be much more concerned with random cutaways of nearly naked women to be bothered by silly things like character development or making an actual horror movie.

As an unabashed fan of everything horror, it pains me when I see films like Muck because it contributes in fuelling the negative connotations of the genre. What’s more off putting is that there’s apparently a prequel already in the works, meaning there will be more of this in the future. Muck is a film that needs to crawl back into the sludge it emerged from and lay dormant until it can contribute something, anything, to genre cinema.

2 Responses to “MUCK Review”

  1. watching this at the moment….i’m struggling to get through it…..some terrible acting and dialogue don’t help.i’ll give it the benefit of the doubt till i’ve finished it but it’s not looking good

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