31 review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso
31 is a disjointed, disfigured mess of loud noises, an over-abundance of miss-matching colors and amateurish cuts that have nothing to do with why people tend to watch movies in the first place. From the director of The Devil's Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses and more films with ridiculous plot and excessive gore just for the sake of it, now comes yet another generic slasher/horror type of film that brings nothing new to the table. Rob Zombie has indeed outdone himself: this time in the opposite direction on the spectrum of film valorization.
Rob Zombie’s flick features some innocent partygoers that fall into the hands of masked psychotic killers just for the sake of it. And that’s it. There are no character arcs, actions motivated by logical deductions and outcomes; just people who are bad at directions and other group of people who are bad at empathy, albeit in a more rigorous way than most.
These people cross ways when they shouldn’t have, and thing go awry. Unfortunately, due to the excessive cuts and the shaky-cam nonsense, nothing one sees makes the least amount of sense. There is also a shallow perspective of space, so most of the time it feels as if the mass of human bodies jump through time and space and end up in a misty forest, when they previously tested their luck in a creepy, abandoned warehouse.
As said, the actors are not given much to work with. But then again, maybe they’re lousy actors, or are just beginning to hone their craft. Either way, it’s safe to assume that the screenplay boils down to body count, and is not made to make sense to whoever happens to read it.
More often than not, 31 will force your neck to jerk to the other direction from whence the movie plays, due to poor editing and the previously mentioned shaky-cam failure. Action scenes in 31 are not exempt of this rule, since one is constantly attacked by a barrage of scenes depicting blood-soaked clothing and faces sprayed in red that don’t amount to anything in particular. The logic behind it is (I presume) to feel the horror these victims feel from their own perspective. In that regard, 31 had spectacularly failed.
There is one particular scene however (stretched in two instances) that almost feels like ‘a needle in a haystack’ type of situation, given the amount of starkness one is subjected to while witnessing Rob Zombie’s 31. I’m referring to the narration of one Doom Head, whose intriguing story is the only thing barely watchable in the movie’s overly-stretched running time.
Overall, 31 starring Sheri Moon Zombie, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Meg Foster and Malcolm McDowell is perfectly unwatchable by any stretch of the imagination one can think of.