Groundhog Day meets the Christian Coalition
Salvage (Gruesome) (2006): 4 out of 10. Groundhog Day meets a Christian Coalition of America horror film. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad. But it is close.
Claire (played by Alicia Silverstonesque Lauren Currie Lewis) is stalked and possibly killed by a serial killer (Chris Ferry, who is quite menacing and brutal). I say possibly because she wakes up, and it was all a dream… Or was it? (Cue music)
The basic problem with the film is that these fifteen minutes of plot (Done well the first time) are repeated endlessly with diminishing results. And since Claire wakes up every time, and every scene is clearly a dream or alternate reality, I just stopped caring what happened to Claire and started wondering what lame twist at the end was going to pull this together.
I was rooting for a séance (which honestly would have made more sense) but instead got one of those too obvious by half surprise endings (Think The Village or Below). Yup, the film collapses faster than Donnie Darko’s director’s cut. All the great twist endings in horror movies such as The Sixth Sense, The original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Happy Birthday to Me worked because the audience wasn’t expecting a left field explanation. (Heck, even the canoe ending in the original Friday the 13th was worth a jolt)
Salvage, on the other hand, screams twist ending with every scene change. Other nagging faults are the one note piano soundtrack (Though the featured songs were decent) the obvious time padding (Claire doing the dishes, Claire’s mother’s subplots), the way Claire says “hello is anyone there” every time she thinks there is a serial killer around.
Also, some of the secondary acting roles (In particular Claire’s mother played by Maureen Olander who resembles a Mary Kay zombie) show the first time actor low budget roots.
Both too clever by half and not nearly clever enough Salvage keeps your interest if only to see how they are going to fix this mess. Problem is they really don’t.