Thursday Night Horror Movie Review – “Muck”

muck1I love Horror movies, and I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt, focusing on the good parts and turning a blind eye to the not so good parts. Usually to a fault. I’m not as bad as I used to be, but even now I always try to see, at the very the least, what the creators were trying to do, and give them credit for the attempt. But with Muck, I’m just not comfortable with the idea of someone watching this movie because I left them with the notion that it is in the least bit watchable. So let me be clear up front–it’s not. Please understand, this movie is bad. I feel awful for saying this, but I think it’s important that you be warned.

 The film opens with five people emerging from a swamp, banged up and freaked out. Something is after them. So far so good. I don’t mind at all that it picks up in the middle of the action. But if a movie is going to do that it has to maintain that tension and move at that pace to the end. Muck doesn’t. Our frightened protagonists come across an empty vacation home and decide to break in to take refuge. But instead of entering the house and barring the door against whatever is after them (we don’t know yet at this point) three of them stand out in the yard arguing about how shitty this vacation has turned out to be. One of them is wounded, and he begins to spout Scream-esque predictions about who is going to die first based on traditional Horror movie conventions. Again, we still don’t know what’s after them or who these people are.

They finally move into the house, and one of the attractive, scantily clad women spends several minutes undressing in front of the bathroom mirror, and then decides to take a shower (remember how I mentioned that something is after them?). I didn’t count, but there are at least three drawn-out scenes of women undressing in front of mirrors in this film. I don’t mind looking at attractive women, I think it’s great–but it served absolutely no purpose. While she showers and everyone else drinks, one of the young men volunteers to jog into town to get help–there is no phone in the house and none of them have cell phones. While he’s gone those who remained in the house are attacked by a group of musclebound albinos–this is apparently what they have been running from.

muck2

The young man arrives at a bar, and things are looking up for our protagonists. But instead of immediately going for a phone and calling the police, he spends several minutes in the bathroom getting cleaned up. He turns his shirt inside out to hide the swampy stains. Then he casually strides over to the bar and orders drinks for himself and a woman who sits next to him. When he does finally borrow a Mucking phone he calls the police–just kidding. He calls his cousin and asks him to come pick them up. However, he does muck3mention that they are under assault by a tribe of albino psychos–gotcha again. He makes no mention of the albinos, and his cousin moves with as much speed as someone who doesn’t know he’s on a rescue mission.

Our young rescuer jogs back to the house, having mentioned his plight to no one at the bar. By the time he gets back only one of his friends is left alive. His cousin shows up with a woman, and the three of them fight to escape. Our young rescuer is killed by something never identified in the film (presumably it is something the albinos are afraid of), and his cousin and lady friend are left walking through the muck toward safety. Only we don’t know if they reach safety. The movie just ends with the line “This isn’t going to end well,” suggesting a sequel.

There are too many drawn-out dialogue exchanges that go nowhere. The characters are flat and unsympathetic. After the first two minutes, tension and suspense is intermittent at best. The movie tries over and over again to be clever and funny, to take jabs at 90’s Horror tropes–but its incoherent narrative makes it impossible to appreciate these attempts. I can say a couple of good things about Muck: the actors are pretty strong (they just didn’t have a good script to work with), and the the production value is high, as far as the camera work is concerned (it didn’t look like it was done with a home video camera). With a better script, this could have been a pretty good movie.

Rating: 1 out of 5

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