Thirst (August 5/10)
Mini Reviews (August 2010)
Though hardly as effective as cinematic cousins Open Water and Frozen, Thirst's inherently compelling premise generally compensates for its flaws and ultimately cements the film's place as an uneven yet passable horror effort. The movie follows two couples, Noelle (Lacey Chabert) and Bryan (Tygh Runyan), and Atheria (Mercedes McNab) and Tyson (Brandon Quinn), as they head deep into the desert for a fashion shoot and subsequently find themselves stranded after a car-related mishap, with the remainder of the proceedings devoted to the foursome's increasingly desperate attempts at making their way back to civilization. Director Jeffrey Scott Lando, working from Kurt Volkan and Joel Newman's screenplay, does a decent job of establishing the four central characters and their individual problems, although it's worth noting that certain conflicts (ie Bryan feels threatened by Noelle's success) come off as forced and labored - which ultimately perpetuates the film's less-than-authentic atmosphere. It's likewise disappointing to note that the various actors are unable to convincingly portray their respective characters' extreme thirst, with the viewer's inability to wholeheartedly accept the peril of their situation resulting in a lamentable absence of pervasive dread. There little doubt, then, that it's the inclusion of a few impressively cringeworthy interludes - ie an impromptu bit of brain surgery involving a screwdriver and a rock - that saves Thirst from sinking into all-out tedium, while the unexpectedly stirring nature of the movie's final 15 minutes, anchored by both an impressive twist and an effective conclusion, ensures that the viewer walks away from the proceedings (relatively) satisfied.