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[BD Review] ‘No One Lives’ Sets Horror Back Nearly 10 Years

It felt like horror was set back 10 years When Courtney Solomon produced Captivity for After Dark Films. Now, WWE Studios is back in the production game with No One Lives, which feels very much out of the same ill-advised world where suits with tons of money and zero heart get behind genre films (because they think we’re an easy sell). While incredibly gory, No One Lives is soulless garbage whose problems begin and end with an appalling script.

Directed by Ryuhei Kitamura – of Midnight Meat Train and Versus fame – the plot follows a group of petty thieves that cross paths with Luke Evans as an ex-military agent (who has become a serial killer) and his prisoner (Adelaide Clemens).

Penned by David Cohen (presumably in 2005, right after Hostel hit theaters), the screenplay is jam-packed with cheesy dialogue and one-liners that couldn’t even be delivered by Tom Cruise. While most of the dialogue is laughable, the real issue comes with the character development. Everyone in No One Lives is a horrible piece of crap; as a viewer you’ll have to get behind either a group of crummy thieves (who murder people for no reason and talk to each other like dog shit), or a serial killer who kidnaps and tortures women (apparently). Everyone could die and it wouldn’t even matter to the viewer; and because everyone sucks, there’s no emotion behind any of their imminent deaths.

The good news is that there’s an insane amount of gore, and the gags are pretty great, but unfortunately there’s no fun behind it. No One Lives is generic “shock” cinema that was a result of Hostel, which is why it feels like it sets horror back 10 years.

It can’t be expressed enough just how terrible this film is. It’s camp without the laughs, a complete downer that’ll leave the audience feeling empty. There’s nothing more frustrating than watching films like this get made by people who understand nothing about the genre; they should stick to wrestling, at least that’s one form of entertainment they know how to produce.

Official Score

  • xXTheDaymanXx

    Didn’t see that coming.

  • Boonraiser

    I have to say that I agree with you but not as harshly. The writing was pretty terrible but the violence and some scenes were well done. It’s definitely nothing new if you’ve seen movies like Captivity, Last House on the Left and You’re Next etc. The fat guy scene was pretty cool.

  • Mr.Mirage

    Okay, then: changing my mind to will see it once… at the second run house or on DVD. Probably not a purchase unless I pick up on something OP may have missed, but from past reads… most likely not.

  • truchainsaw28

    Ryuhei Kitamura made a film a little while called Midnight Meat Train it starred Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb and Brooke Shields amongst a few notable others, it was sensational and it is criminally under seen. And it showed just what he could do with a budget. Unfortunately the movie wasn’t well received financially and has had a tough time finding it’s way to an audience. His first feature Versus had a much better fortune but doomed with a low budget and shaky amateur direction it’s a mixed bag at best. His second US feature No One lives falls into the middle. It sports a meaty, original concept a young couple find themselves abducted by a group of hoodlums. When the female captive dies the nameless male captive shows his true colors as he escapes and begins to murder them systematically. You see what they discover when examining his car is a young woman seemingly tortured whose been missing for the past year or so and whose picture is all over the news as she is an heiress to a large fortune. To say that the people have messed with the wrong guy is a huge understatement. And although the film is delightfully entertaining it also manages to somewhat explore the complex relationships between captives and the ones holding them. At times it feels a bit hokey and I’d be lying if I didn’t say the acting wasn’t mostly horrible and the dialogue needed some major work. Still Luke Evans makes for a sexy, delightful villain and although it falls into a few genre trappings and some failed attempts at low budget action it’s a fun little gore flick with a surprising amount on it’s mind. I do think it’s important to realize how much the film has been affected by budgetary constraints and how influenced it is by asian films. That being said he delivered an uber stylized, wonderfully stylish original horror flick with Midnight Meat Train and even though this may be some what of a step back ward it’s still entertaining enough to merit a recommendation if you go in expecting exactly what is a sometimes silly, original, thought provoking, entertaining, slightly hammy horror flick thats equal parts awesome and unintentionally funny at the same time. 3/5

  • RudyIgnbv

    No One lives I admit that has a not so good script but when it comes to the deaths, those are realistic and well executed not like those crappy,false and stupid deaths in the Hatchet or in the Hostal franchise that even a 5 year old boy can do with ketchup and pig intestins or other organs

  • cadaverous-tissue

    Midnight meat train sucked, sorry. No one lives however I love. Its nice and subversive, like devils rejects for example, in that you are encouraged to side with a dodgy, morally bankrupt, murdering sex criminal. I can get on board with that fairly easily as long as they’ve got some charisma.

  • Kwonkicker

    I just finished watching it from Netflix. I disagree fully; it was PHENOMENAL. VASTLY superior to You’re Next, which I found disappointing and terribly mediocre. This was Luke Evans kicking serious ass. Definitely worth it.