31 (2016)

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Zombie's Clowning Around

Director: Rob Zombie
Running Time: 102 Minutes
Starring: Sheri Moon Zombie, Meg Foster, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Richard Brake, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Malcolm McDowell, Jane Carr, Judy Geeson, Kevin Jackson, Lew Temple

Five carnival workers are kidnapped and held hostage in an abandoned compound. Inside, they're forced to play a game called "31", where they have to survive 12 hours against a gang of maniacs dressed like clowns.

"A Rob Zombie Film". After viewing this picture, I'm unsure of four other words which can adorn a movie poster and feel like such a bad omen. It's easy to make a statement like then, when there appears to be next to no actual effort made throughout. The script work is the first piece of evidence about this, as we're given no reason to care for these paper thin characters, and the lack of acting doesn't help (especially looking at you, Sheri Moon Zombie).

Image result for 31 rob zombie youtubeThe only exception in regards to the acting is Richard Brake. With his intimidating stare and vocal work, he delivers a much more effective presence than the combined efforts of the remaining cast. But it's rather telling that the most development some characters get are in being named the likes of Doomhead, Schizohead and Sickhead.

Not helping matters are the incompetent camera work, mixed with choppy editing. The combination leaves the camera constantly shaking, as viewers are unable to witness the brutal action occurring onscreen. Rob Zombie has essentially delivered the action scenes from 2012's The Hunger Games, just with killer clowns, excessive swearing, and action that's somehow more incomprehensible.

From the opening to the non-ending, it's apparent that no passion or effort has been attempted throughout this film. As a film, 31 is as lacking in originality, excitement and effort as its own title.

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