7 Below Blu-ray | DVD
Directed by Kevin Carraway
Written by Kevin Carraway, Lawrence Sara
Starring Val Kilmer, Ving Rhames and Luke Goss
Release Date: April 17, 2012
You know how your mother always said that if you don’t have anything nice to say then you shouldn’t say anything at all? Well, screw that. This movie was so utterly ridiculous that I cannot help but try to warn you off before you spend your hard earned cash on it or worse yet, actually watch it. I did manage to entertain my wife while I watched it, though. Mostly by my throwing my headphones off my head in disgust. 7 Below, indeed…this title is likely to represent the watcher’s IQ after having viewed it. I really do feel like I lost at least that many points after having viewed suffered through ninety minutes of this.
Imagine a van full of strangers. Okay, well, a van with two brothers, a married couple and two others…but whatever. Anyway, they are on their way to a resort and after a seemingly meaningless pit stop in a podunk town, a few of them start having odd hallucinations. One of which causes the van to wreck and strands them on the side of the road. Luckily, Jack (Ving Rhames) is driving by and gives them a ride back to his place. He rushes them all into his pickup, though I am unsure how all these people got into a single cab truck. His reasoning for hurrying: a “storm is coming.” He says it so many times in the beginning of the film that I keep envisioning the original ads for Game of Thrones before the first season started. I even walked around the house repeating it, much to my wife’s chagrin. But she’s a good sport, she kept it alive for the rest of the night mainly because…
It took half the movie before it started to rain! Rain, I say. Not a blizzard, or a flood, or even dangerous hurricane/tropical winds…plain ole rain. The very same rain that they venture out into repeatedly! But I digress, back to the goofiness, er…I mean plot. It is obvious that Kevin Carraway really wanted to make the Jack character an enigma, but he failed epically at it. Hell, every character was flat and wooden throughout the entire movie. Even Bill (Val Kilmer) was pathetically one-dimensional. And shame on you, Val. This was obviously just an easy paycheck for you, sir. I used to enjoy seeing him act but this one was painful, though he is barely in a third of the film.
Insert a good half dozen of cheap horror film concepts, along with a wannabe creepy score to heighten (no, it didn’t actually) the suspense and you have something that this movie just couldn’t reach. It would have to improve to become crappy. Basic cliches like ghosts in mirrors, hands reaching out from under beds, and weird possessions just really reek of desperation. The supposedly creepy house looks like my grandmother’s home. Not scary creepy, just old people creepy.
Even after people start dying, you never really feel worried about them. There was never a connection to any of the characters. To be truthful, I started counting them down…I just knew when we got to one, it would be over! And not to harp on the rain storm too much, but it really did seem like it was supplied by some dude on the roof with a water hose. And I never did actually see the storm, just heard someone shaking sheet metal to pretend there was thunder.
The deaths are sub-par, as well. Simple throat slashings, stabbings, that sort of thing. I think any random Law & Order episode has that much in it. We see a lot of conversations that just seem forced, time after time. Luckily, they all seem perfectly fine splitting up and wandering around inside and out, even though their group is depopulating at record speed. One would think that staying together would afford better protection, but hey…what do I know? I would try to explain the plot a bit better, but there really didn’t seem to be one. Except maybe that history is repeating itself. Mostly through plagiarism of plots from other movies, truth be told. An hour and a half yielded not a single original plot device or storyline.
The ending is not surprising at all, except in it’s cheesiness. I mean, come on…ghosts come back from the grave, people who are supposed to be dead/dying are alive after all. Even the “enigmatic” Jack ends up being less than you think. All in all, a huge disappointment. One that I can only blame on myself. I did, after all, request to review this DVD. Mostly because I expected more from Ving and Val. I say run, don’t walk, AWAY from this movie. It’s not “let’s-go-see-a-B-movie-bad,” it’s just “bad-bad.” Ving was right, though, a storm is coming…a s#!t-storm.