Sundance Day 8 Recap
Sundance is finally over, but I have just a few movie recaps left in me before my festival coverage comes to an end...until next year. Saturday I got to see two movies at completely opposite spectrums of the festival: the midnight section and the kids section. Here are my thoughts on 10 Lives and In A Violent Nature.
When kitten Beckett is taken in by a research scientist named Rose, he thinks he's got it made. His life is unexpectedly cut short, but he's given another chance in kitty heaven at another nine lives, but there's a catch. Each time he comes back, he comes back as another animal, with the new life designed with the purpose of Beckett learning a new lesson. Each life is intended as a stepping stone to help him learn how to be more selfless. Meanwhile, he also discovers from his various perspectives that Rose's boss may be out to sabotage her longtime work with nefarious purposes of his own.
10 Lives is a sweet if somewhat forgettable animated tale. It features one of the most adorable segments of an animated kitten ever...until he grows up and becomes more of an obnoxious fat cat. The best bits are the time in kitty heaven and waiting to see what animal he becomes next, but with nine after a while it feels a bit superfluous. The b plot line (pun intended since it's all about bees,) is a bit silly and never feels all that important. Plus, as a cat owner, I have to say it is kind of a bit ridiculous how quickly Rose gives up looking for Beckett once he's missing. I had a fine time with it, though I will add that it did struggle a little bit at times to hold my almost four-year-old's attention.
IN A VIOLENT NATURE
After hearing an urban legend about a necklace in the woods with a mysterious past, a group of friends take it and unknowingly awaken an unstoppable killing machine. Before they know it, they are stalked mercilessly and hunted down one by one, with no hope of survival, by a giant man wearing an old stolen mask.
The conceit of In A Violent Nature is that it's a slasher flick told almost entirely from the killer's point of view. That sounds like a great idea in theory until you see it in execution. Part of that is due to the type of slasher villain we're following. The killer in Nature most resembles Jason from the Friday the 13th franchise, so we're not really following some mastermind here, but rather just a lumbering killing giant. As such, much of the runtime is spent simply witnessing this monster trekking through the forest like a bear looking for its next meal. There's no cleverness, no premeditation. No sadistically staging bodies for others to stumble upon in horror. He's a villain with no thought at all and the results are very free from any kind of suspense. While I can appreciate that it's certainly a gorefest and an all-around love letter and homage to slasher films, the result is too boring to justify its existence.