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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Nothing Left to Fear (2013) Horror Cult

Nothing Left to Fear (2013) - The attraction to this film came primarily from the fact that it was produced by Slash who also had a hand in the music. Probably not the best reason to seek out a film. The story itself is one of those "this is why you can't trust small town America" stories. The town has a dark secret and the new arrivals are of course going to be the targets. The first story like this I remember is The Dark Secret of Harvest Home (1978) with Bette Davis and Rosanna Arquette. The final twist on that one really made it clear that moving to the country was for fools. In this film it is Minister Dan (James Tupper) and his family who are the unsuspecting targets of small town malice. His loving wife Wendy (Anne Heche) two daughters Rebecca (Rebekah Brandes) and Mary (Jennifer Stone) and son Christopher (Carter Cabassa) have no idea that they are part of a long line of sacrificial families. What seems like a struggle to adjust to a small town and the bordom that comes with it soon becomes a fight for survival.
  The story centers around a set of rituals that unfortunately were poorly explained in the film. The current minister Pastor Kingsman (Clancy Brown) and his flock have a ritual that satisfies a demon in their midst. At one point he says that there are no angels to fight this demon so they must do what is necessary to sate it's hunger. This involves blood rituals to call the demon into poor Mary who once possessed will hunt down and kill her family. Like in the film Jug Face (2013), the mythology is left sketchy at best, I guess not wanting long expository dialog to try to fill out the myth they went with this is how it is accept it. It is always hard to accept with something so crazy. In Jug Face the use a pit in the woods to heal the community even though they could get care in town, with the negative side that they regularly have to sacrifice members of the community to the pit to keep it happy. In this film we have a community feeding unsuspecting outsiders to the demon instead of reaching out to the Vatican or what ever and getting help. Its always hard for a city dweller like me to understand why anyone would live in small town America anyway. Always portrayed as insular and singular in their approach to the world, having a real lack of knowledge of diversity of cultures. It makes you wonder why anyone stays. Every scene in these small towns make then look boring and uninteresting.
  Once the plot becomes clear and poor Mary starts doing her deeds, the townspeople huddle in their homes marked in lambs blood like Moses in the old testament had the Jews mark their doors. They will not help because they are willing to sacrifice outsiders to protect themselves. How very Christian of them. Rebecca being led through her part in the ritual by hunky Noah (Ethan Peck) seems to be fleeing but in the end is lead to the final ritual place by her new boy friend. When the cycle completes leaving the orphan Rebecca in the community we realize that this will happen again. The last scene with the newly arriving sacrificial family is a corny add on not really needed.
  Overall this film took way too long to develop running time is 100 minutes and for most of that we have the introduction to the family and small town creepiness. The creepiness comes from the fact that there are really only three people in the town who take the time to get to know the new family. Considering that they town folk know these are lambs to slaughter it makes sense but you would think the family would notice how they are being shunned. When we finally get to the mostly unexplained demon possession you have to wonder how this ritual was built up over the years. Was it Pastor Kingsman who realized there was a demon? Human sacrifice seemed like the thing to do about that? When was the first episode of cutting  and doing the blood ritual to raise the demon? Why not avoid raising the demon, does it come anyway? How did this start? Considering how much time they spent boring the audience with small town family life you would hope they would have explained something about the origins of this creature and how they came to know what steps to take to deal with it.  After the ritual ends and the one family member is welcomed into the new town. Why the fuck is she not finding every gun she can and blowing the heads off these assholes who just killed her entire family? So many questions are left by this story that it is not very satisfying. So I can't really recommend this film as it left me a bit pissed off at the lack of realistic responses to the situation.

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