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Review - 31

By midlandsmovies, Sep 24 2016 08:17AM

31 (2016) Dir: Rob Zombie

After a four year hiatus Rob Zombie returns with 31 and sadly it is much of the same from the rocker and won't change your opinion either way on the guys body of work or his constant unjustified casting of his wife in all of his movies.

31 follows five carnival workers, although the legitimacy of their act is under question, who end up becoming kidnapped and forced to take part in a violent game of timed survival against a series of sadistic clowns. Coming across conceptually as a mixture of the Running Man, the Purge and his own past films the what and the why are seemingly irrelevant only the now.

The ambiguity of the game is no doubt intentional, intended to increase the fear and the feeling of out of control, senseless violence as overseen by a bet mad and wigged up Victorian Malcom McDowell but ultimately it just feels as if ol’Rob couldn’t be bothered to come up with a story which also goes on to explain why the characters in all of his films are essentially the same.

As a result the film never builds any tension or emotional involvement simply feeling like a series of set pieces so much so that anytime it threatens to become exciting Zombie's directing style quickly ruins it by his choice of quick fire editing. Again designed to illustrate the frantic nature of the action the reality is that these scenes just show us that the director didn’t know how to actually portray the onscreen carnage with the result being something that is just annoying to watch.

While structurally all but ignoring the purpose of the traditional first and third act can sometimes work, for films to eschew this standard structure and still appease the viewer they require something meaningful to say or emotionally evocative to present and sadly Rob Zombie and 31 cannot claim either making for a rather unsatisfying experience.

That said if you are a fan of Rob Zombie’s films you will in all probability like 31 but for the rest of us all we will find is a predictable, poorly constructed, poorly written and poorly directed horror film that once again fails to hide the directors incompetency in both writing and directing.


Midlands Movies Marek

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