Friday, January 22, 2016
One hundred years ago, on a dark and stormy night, a child murders a family. Then 6 awful people take an awkward ride in a van where they bicker amongst each other as they try to explain their character's motivations. It's not very interesting.
After they nearly collide with a ghost, the driver of the van is killed, leaving the rest of the characters completely insufferable. Val Kilmer wears a ponytail, drinks fruit punch, hits on a female gas station attendant although his wife is in the van, and gives off a creepy vibe. Ving gives the stranded motorists a lift back to his ominous, secluded house and no one seems to be concerned that their screams will go unheard. Someone gives some dodgy medical advice, and then Ving looks at his antique pocket watch and says, "Storm's approaching" as though it's a new Apple product that gives steampunk weather predictions.
The gas station attendant's car ironically runs out of gas. With help from her future love interest, she looks under the hood, and the two discuss how ironic the scene is, talk about how looking under the hood is pointless, and keep doing that exact thing for an uncomfortable period of time. The road that is the only escape route from Ving's murder-y bed and breakfast is unconvincingly blocked by some branches because it's in the script. The female cast changes clothes, once due to Val's fruit punch and again for some dodgy reincarnation.
Suddenly, Val ends up conveniently and suspiciously dead, and not a moment too soon. Everyone is only briefly hysterical, then there's more dodgy medical advice. Ving's truck ends up getting its wires unconvincingly cut. Val's body gets taken to the barn, but you know very good and well Val would never be lugged about like a sack of potatoes. It's probably a stand-in getting paid far, far less. Val's probably at the craft services table sipping another fruit punch or something. A radio announcer explains that the area is under a tornado watch, and it's as though no one in the film has ever experienced one. A coin is tossed to see who sleeps with the gas station attendant, and it's exactly what it sounds like. More movie happens, and characters are bumped off. Characters get separated in the woods as though they've never seen a horror film. The movie ends in a less-than-surprising way, and I couldn't have been more relieved.
Predictable, cliched, and not particularly frightening, 7 Below features some reincarnation elements, some ghost elements, and some slasher elements. Borrowing from the folkloric legend of hitch-hiking spirits like Resurrection Mary, only it's unclear which character is supposed to be Mary. 7 Below features cruddy effects, bad makeup, a terrible screenplay, an ominous zucchini, and Val Kilmer.