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[BD Review] ‘Seven Below’

So, have you ever read a story or seen a movie that is set way back in the day and the author has tried to change the dialogue to reflect this, but it’s just so badly executed that it’s painful? Seven Below delivers on this almost immediately with meager acting where children are calling their moms ‘mother’ in every sentence as they converse. Maybe people do this even now, but here it’s excruciating to decipher what makes it just so cringe worthy – the acting or the writing. Or both. And with this scene from 1910, the film begins its crawl.

Seven Below is promoted as being a ‘supernatural thriller in the vein of The Ring and The Grudge with explosive terror and spine-chilling suspense and action’ – all of which it is, umm, not. Not even close.

Stuck in a house where a kid killed his whole family 100 years earlier, a hodgepodge of strangers – including a recovering pain killer addicted doctor, a sexy foreign gas station attendant and a cheating husband named Bill (Val Kilmer) – are left stranded during a hurricane. Their host, Jack (Ving Rhames), is a good old country man who just may have some weird quirks. Either that or he’s up to no good. Well, as members of the party begin to die – starting with Kilmer 20 minutes in (must’ve been a good day’s pay) – the survivors begin to find clues like newspapers that look like print outs (complete with blank backs) that have been crumpled up, and even old photographs that all lead to the fact that Jack may not be whom he seems.

I honestly don’t think this movie is full of horrible actors. I figure they all just looked at the script – that may have appeared great on paper – and committed. It wasn’t until they began shooting that they knew just how awful it was, and they just gave up. Plain and simple. Well, everyone but Ving Rhames. The man is a true thespian. He doesn’t care how bad a script is, he’s gonna act the hell out of what he’s given. Just look at Piranha 3D. Sadly, he’s not given enough to make Seven Below enjoyable while everyone else is wading through dialogue for their money. Though I will note that he does do a badass rendition of ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot‘ and makes a nice Top Gun chomping teeth reference to Kilmer’s Bill. It’s amazingly cheap, but obvious.

I wish I could tell you what happens in Seven Below but really, I don’t even know. Something about reincarnation and the killings having to be repeated in order for the curse to continue or be lifted or something. It’s a long painful process to get to the end which, in itself, makes little sense. I will offer this, however: go ahead and skip this one. Perhaps it’s my way of not letting the curse be repeated. – Reviewed by: Lauren Taylor




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