Desolation (2017)

58% – Critics
19% – Audience

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Desolation Movie Reviews

Motiveless desolation

Saw ‘Desolation’, being fond of horror/thriller regardless of budget (even if not my favourite genre) and being intrigued somewhat by the idea. Being behind on my film watching and reviewing, with a long to watch and review list that keeps getting longer, it took me a while to get round to watching and reviewing it.

Giving ‘Desolation’ a fair chance with being interest and apprehension, it turned out to be far better than expected. Won’t say that ‘Desolation’ is a great film because it isn’t (pretty weak actually) and the potential, while not wasted, is not fully lived up to. Considering the large number of films seen recently being mediocre and less and wasting potential, was expecting worse and was relieved that while wanting in a fair few areas it was actually marginally better than most recent low-budget viewings.

‘Desolation’ started off quite well, the first twenty minutes or so starting the film off on a promising, unsettling and atmospheric note that really does intrigue.

Production values did have some eeriness and nowhere near as cheap as expected, and the music, which not the most memorable in the world, didn’t detract from the atmosphere.

The setting is effectively spooky. There are spooky and suspenseful moments.

However, the story was severely wanting in especially the second half after starting off promisingly for the first twenty minutes. It is very disjointed and gets dull and uneventful too early after the promising start. The final third especially loses atmosphere, one loses interest and things start to not make sense and gets increasingly jumbled. Too much of the film is vague and doesn’t explore some elements and story strands enough (motives are underexplored or absent for example), some dropped soon after being introduced, go nowhere or serve much point.

Ending is unsatisfying, on top of feeling hasty there are too many loose ends hanging in the air. Got the sense that the writers didn’t know how to end the film. Would have liked much more tension and suspense, scares could have been more consistent and much more and generally weren’t surprising enough.

Found too the script to lack natural flow and with a bit of cheese going on, and the characters bland with some adopting some annoying and not always logical decision making. The support acting in particular is even more problematic than the second half’s storytelling, at best it was poor and too often terrible.

Overall, weak but could have been worse. 3/10 Bethany Cox

Perfect title anyone?

I guess if you view it as “how close is it to the title” you may give it a way higher rating. Then again, not to mention that it doesn’t start off that bad, would be an omission and a disservice to the movie (and the actors). I really tried hard to like them (especially because of the relationship between the characters and how it is established).

Unfortunately it does not go a long way. Quite the opposite is the case. When … evil appears everything goes south. Well almost everything, but enough to make you wonder if you should continue watching. Illogical behavior is not new in horror movies, the extend varies though. And of course it will depend on the viewer on how much disbelief he allows himself and the movie to indulge in … this one clearly crossed a lot of lines for me. Not really recommendable

Lacks edge and originality

Even if you can’t come up with an exact title or two as proof of your conclusion, I am pretty confident that while watching “Desolation”, you’ll be saying “I have seen this basic story before.” Needless to say, this saga of innocent people being stalked by a madman in the woods is sorely lacking originality. But it probably could have worked again, albeit in a somewhat familiar sense, if the filmmakers had added some spark. However, there is no real sign that the filmmakers were trying to make this stand out from the rest of the movies in the backwoods slasher genre. It takes forever for the movie to get going, with more than half of the movie going by before the protagonists find they are in serious trouble, with the movie padded out with inconsequential footage right up to that point. And when the protagonists start to flee for their lives, there is pretty much no tension or suspense. The movie just seems to be going through the motions weakly. One main reason for that is that the stalker is a pretty boring figure; he doesn’t talk, just stands around and watches a lot, and has no apparent motivation for why he’s doing what he’s doing. About the only thing the filmmaker manage to do is make the movie look okay for its low budget; it’s fairly well shot in scenic locations. Apart from that, this is pretty much a misfire, and I would have given it a much lower rating had it not just been 76 minutes long. You’d be better off seeking a copy of the 1977 Canadian backwoods horror movie “Rituals” instead.