After sitting on the shelf for nearly three years Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures’ CATACOMBS is finally arriving on DVD. The film was produced during the same year as SAW II, yet could never find a release. The reason why? It’s effin terrible, so bad in fact I recommend never laying your eyes on such an atrocity.
Written and Directed by Tomm Coker and David Elliot, the film follows the story of a young woman (Shannyn Sossamon) on her first visit abroad. She goes to a party in the Catacombs, a 200-mile labyrinth of ancient limestone tunnels under Paris lined with the remains of 7 million people. When separated from her friends, she becomes convinced that someone or something is chasing her.
Sounds like a pretty cool concept doesn’t it? In the end what follows is probably one of the tamest, cheapest, lamest horror films in recent memory. Following the success of SAW it’s shocking to me that Twisted Pictures appears to have taken the PG-13 route with this tale. There is plenty of blood, but 99% of it is aftermath. Everything happens either in the dark or is cut before we see what happens leaving us gore hounds scratching our heads in disbelief. It’s safe to say that if you’re looking for that Twisted Pictures-like gore you will not find it here… time to turn and walk away from this one before it’s too late.
So there’s no gore – not everyone is looking for blood and guts – are there any redeeming factors? Quite simply… no; the film lacks suspense, direction and most importantly entertainment. If you want to watch Shannyn Sossamon running in the dark with a flashlight for an hour and a half you might find what you’re looking for, but that sounds a little too kinky for me. No joke, most of CATACOMBS is spent watching Sossamon running from an unseen stalker. The directing during these sequences is so atrocious that Coker and Elliot should be ashamed. Watch as boots fly by the screen over and over again, watch as the camera shakes, watch as we get close-up after close-up of Shannyn Sossamon and watch as a flashlight aluminates the skull plastered walls – then watch as these same shots are stuck on repeat and shuffle for the duration of the film. Occasionally some foreign object (like a bike) will get in the way just to break the cycle. The more I watched the more furious I became… what in Gods name happened here?
To make matters worse the plot is so razor thin that you can just skim to the end and see the craptacular finale. Is there anything worse or on the same level as finding out that the whole movie was a dream? Yeah, there are a few things… such as finding out that the whole movie was a prank being played on Sossamon by her sister (played by crappy singer Pink.) Yes, I ruined it, sorry… the ending is the same BS at the ‘80s horror movie APRIL FOOL’S DAY. It’s the ultimate copout, ultimate twist killer and the ultimate pisser.
CATACOMBS burned my eyes – maybe I should sue for damages? When you purchase or rent this movie you should have to sign a waiver stating you understand that the movie might kill brain cells, hurt your eyes or even (gulp) turn you off horror movies for good. I guess they say everyone’s sophomore effort is usually a failure – Twisted Pictures is no exception to the rule. Pass on this one and pretend it never happened, you’ll feel better about the SAW movies.