Thursday, October 04, 2012


(2006) *****

I was waffling on what to watch tonight, and I realized I was in the mood for something I'd actually really like, rather than just sit through for Thon's sake (my first 3 movies have all more or less fallen into that category).

I remembered Octo had helpfully started a nice "Thonners' Recommendations" thread a few weeks back, so I found the post and copied a bunch of those titles into my Netflix cue. A few minutes later I was watching this brilliant little horror comedy that 50p and Cat have both reviewed favorably in the past.

Man did they not oversell it.
This is a great ensemble cast of mostly British character actors (seems like they're all familiar from something) who comprise a sales team for a multinational arms manufacturing corporation. They're off to rural Hungary for a team building retreat when they basically take a wrong turn and end up stuck in the middle of the wilderness at some old asylum. The former inmates have a bone to pick with their particular corporation, unluckily!, and so they're all in for the worst company retreat, like ever.

50p referenced Shaun of the Dead in his review of this one, and it's absolutely not an unfair--I remember really really having fun watching Shaun, but I don't think it was any more fun that I just had now. I was grinning throughout this one, even when it did get pretty suspenseful and gory in the third act. Totally fun scary, in the very best way.

I thought about going with just 4 1/2 like 50p did, just cuz, well, doesn't there have to be room at the top for Psycho and the original Halloween? But heck, there's plenty of room up there, and this one is in its way a perfectly made gem.

In short, watch it.

Oh, and I was stoked to see Toby Stephens in one of the main roles (one of the best deaths in recent memory, btw). I saw him do Coriolanus back in 94 at the Swan theater in Stratford, England, and he was so good that I was convinced he'd go on to Brannagh-type Shakespeare stardom. Toby's dad Robert Stephens, btw, was one of the old legends of the modern British stage, granted permanent membership in the RSC along with Olivier and Captain Pickard and just a few others. I think the British press was expecting Toby to grow into that as well. Instead, he's played a lame Bond villian, and was in a cool adaptation of Orlando opposite Tilda Swinton, but otherwise I had sort of forgotten about him. Cool to see him pop back up in such a fantastic little movie.


AC said...

so glad you loved this, landshark! i find sean of the dead much more compelling, but i can certainly appreciate your perspective.

Catfreeek said...

Love your review, so funny you both posted simultaneously.

Octopunk said...

Yeah I just noticed that! I'm catching up and working my way down.

In spirit 50P had already convinced me to screen this, but I forgot to add it to my queue until just now. You convinced me more.

Aw, poor Die Another Day, you don't get no love!

50PageMcGee said...

finally! i am to this movie what octo was to dog soldiers for a couple years. glad to see it getting the love.

DCD said...

I love the different perspectives from Landshark and AC - how funny that you both posted! Sounds like one to add to the list!