Sunday, August 29, 2010

Salvage (2009)

If horror has shown in the past, there can be nothing wrath stronger than the love of a parent or parents. Movies like "The Last House on the Left" and others have shown what parents will do for the love of their children, alive or dead. It's a theme that's universal in every aspect, and that's once again explored in Lawrence Gough's debut picture "Salvage", which made it's U.S. debut early this season.

Kieran (Shauna Dooley) is coming home to visit her mother Beth (Neve McIntosh) on Christmas-and sees her having sex with a man. Kieran doesn't take kindly to this, and storms out. To make matters worse, a container has washed ashore, and it contains...something. The military now surrounds the area, having it ring fenced, and Beth must find her daughter before whatever creature this is gets her.

Made for a small budget, "Salvage" is an interesting and mostly engaging British film that manages to make the most of it's limitations via old techniques (not revealing too much of the monster) and using it's limited locations to an advantage. The use of limited locations manages to be effective, creating a strange quasi-realism to the proceedings, and adds to the sense of claustrophobia the film creates. It's also features some very strong performances, especially from McIntosh, who perfectly plays Beth as a flawed parental figure, but one that still loves her daughter and will do anything to ensure her survival. Also, while there is gore, the movie deserves credit for using tension and suspense over wall to wall splatter.

While I'm praising the movie, it does have it's flaws. For one thing, this is a rather low budget affair, so while the director makes a smart decision in not revealing too much of the monster, what we do see isn't all that frightening, and a bit of a letdown to be honest. The movie is also a too short at 76 minutes. I personally would have liked to see this go on at least 10 more minutes.

In the end, "Salvage" is a downbeat, tension filled treat that's a reminder as to why sites like Netflix are great. Give it a shot.

Rating: 8/10

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