I originally wanted to use a Billy Joel reference as an intro to this review, but then I remembered that his song was called “Storm Front” and not “Storm Warning”.
Synopsis: From the director of Urban Legend comes this terrifying trip into the depths of human depravity. When a storm forces a couple to land their sailboat far ashore, they stumble upon a remote island inhabited by a demented father and his psychotic sons. Captured, beaten and sexually enslaved, the couple turns the tables in a bloody fight for survival. Featuring some of the most intensely brutal scenes imaginable, Storm Warning never lets up as it builds towards a shocking finish.
Thank god, a movie with a shocking finish, I was worried I wouldn’t see another one of these. Remember when horror movies just had an ending where it ended? It didn’t try to shock you or outsmart you. The bad guys were bad, the good guys were good and the end was just the end. The good guys won and beat the odds to survive and the bad guys might be dead, or not depending on if they wanted a sequel.
So does “Storm Warning” live up to anything that was mentioned in the synopsis? In a word, yes. In a longer word, yeeeeeeeeeeees.
I wanted to see this movie for so long as it seemed to have a decent amount of hype surrounding it. But at the time it was coming out so were a lot of other movies with gobs of hype attached to them (ie: Broken), and those movies turned out to be ass, so I was wary of this one. I am happy to say that my worries were totally unfounded as “Storm Warning” ended up being one of the most visceral movies I have seen in a long time.
The synopsis says that the movie is depraved, and it sure as hell is. It’s beautifully shot, and that only adds to the carnage. The violence is, at it’s best, insane, and at it’s worst it’s, crazy. It’s hard, and it’s heavy without really showing a lot. One kill is straight out of a “Hellraiser” movie. You don’t want to look at it, but you can’t look away.
What makes this movie really phenomenal is that it takes place in two locations - the house or the barn; and both these sets are almost an actor unto themselves. They look amazing. You look around and see discarded auto-parts, newspapers, traps, animal hides; they tell a back story of the villains without ever saying a word.
There is genuine fear in the performances of the victims and complete madness due to isolation and upbringing in the performances of the madmen. But there is an amazing thing with the madmen - they are all played with such a crazy charisma you can’t help not to like them.
There is also great character development; almost a role reversal of sorts. The Hero-Guy is more or less of a wuss that doesn’t do much besides what he‘s told to do, no matter what it is. The main female, while a damsel in distress for a while does have some surprises up her sleeves. She basically wears the pants in the relationship after taking a lot of shit from both the villains and her fella. Good for her I say. Her transformation is such a stark difference from what you originally peg her for you can’t help but go “Fuck yeah girl!”
The end comes, and it’s not shocking but it is quite visceral and amazing; both grotesque and cheer-worthy all in the same instances. But the thing with the ending is that it just ends. The final gore money-shot, the victims leave, credits. There’s no lovers embrace, no ‘oh, they have a cousin who’s pissed off’, no returning to their home, nothing. Just a dead stop into a wall. But even with the downer ending “Storm Warning” is one of the best movie experiences in a while.
I’m starting to think Australia is the new ‘go to’ country for horror. Since the Asian Invasion is dying down we needed a new country to exploit for our horror kicks and Australia seems to be it. Between this movie, “Dying Breed”, “Wolf Creek” and “Rogue” the Aussies are pumping out some good shit. Jump on the wagon while you can folks because, if it’s anything like the J-Horror craze, we will soon be getting a lot of really crappy movies we’ve already seen before.
8 out of 10
Note: If you haven’t seen “Rogue”, please do so as it is a great Nature-Gone-Amok movie. In fact, I think it’s the best killer animal movie since “Jaws”. Now THAT’S some high praise.