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Review: Don't check into dreadful horror stinker 'The Resort'

Courtesy of Vertical Entertainment


Barely running over the 70-minute mark to qualify as a feature length film, Taylor Chien’s abysmal horror clunker “The Resort” is one place you don’t want to visit. Not because of an urban legend folklore about some horribly-explained ghoul named “Half-Faced Girl,” because it’s an awful, lazy excuse of a film. This cheaply made, bargain bin thriller doesn’t conjure any semblance of terror or suspense, flounders for 50-minutes (over half the film), and saves its biggest jolt for a last second twist anyone with a brain will see coming a mile away. If “The Resort” - clearly inspired by the likes of “The Bye Bye Man” and “The Empty Man” - had the courage to play into the campiness and flesh characters out beyond their stereotypical archetypes, it would probably still be bad, but slightly less so.

In any case, “The Resort” follows the classic troupe of four college students who go searching for demons despite pleas and calls not too. Chien doesn’t even have the decency to photograph the Hawaii based film with vibrant colors or engaging scenery and atmosphere (If you watched “The Resort,” you’d think Hawaii was the most boring place on earth). We’re here because it’s Lex’s (Biance Haase) birthday weekend and she’s looking for inspiration on a forthcoming horror novel. She catches wind of a nearby island infamous for spirits - notably The Half-Faced Girl - lurking in the corridors and convinces her squad: Chris (Brock O Hurn); Bree (Michelle Randolph) and Sam (Michael Vlamis) to tag along. The only thing you really need to know is this “Half Faced Girl” was supposedly murdered in a neighboring village and spends her afterlife exacting revenge on dumb adults (and the occasional secuirty guard) who try to make contact. If only she could have saved me from this movie.

By independent horror standards, “The Resort” doesn’t even try to be a gritty horror flick, but a boring and lifeless one. Aside from semi-decent practical effects and make-up tricks, it’s stuck on autopilot where most of the film's runtime is populated with characters wandering around trying to locate spooky creatures. It isn’t until almost the hour mark that Chien and company try to stimulate our senses, but if you aren’t already checked out by that point, the drugs must have failed to do their job.

70 minutes has never felt longer, and I sat through “The Master of Disguise.”

Grade: D-

THE RESORT opens In Select Theaters & On Demand Friday, April 30


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