Nobody Gets Out Alive (2013)
Review by Jude Felton
The slasher sub-genre has always been a favorite of mine, ever since I first saw Halloween and Friday the 13th back in the day. Over the years I’ve seen the good, the bad and the downright strange of this often maligned strain of horror, and of late I’ve been revisiting some of the films from the heyday of the slasher back in the early 80s. On the surface they are very simple films; a killer, masked or otherwise, picks off a group of kids (usually) who find themselves in some sort of remote location. Simple, yes, but that doesn’t mean that everyone that ever made a slasher grasped some of the basics.
For a start, if you don’t care about the victims, what is the point? If they are all annoying as all hell you are going to be begging for them to die. Am I wrong? The potential victims don’t have to be angels, but it really doesn’t help if they are assholes.
With this in mind we have Nobody Gets Out Alive, a movie that to my knowledge has gone by several names, which include Down the Road and Punishment. Why this is, I do not know, but what I will say, without fear of spoiling the movie too much, is that the current title of Nobody Gets Out alive isn’t entirely true. Anyway, moving forward, the film opens with the tragic death of Hunter Isth’s young daughter, by a carload of boozed up teens.
We then move forward to the present day, and a group of annoying friends who all plan on getting away from it all by taking a camping trip to Braiden Woods. This involves getting themselves a ton of beer, with credit given to their choice being Yuengling, pissing off all the locals and then proceeding to flash plenty of flesh. You’ll get the compulsory campfire tale of the man who lost his daughter (from the opening scene), sex, drugs and rock and roll, and then the killing begins.
Now, I had pretty much worked out the exact order in which the victims would perish, which pissed me off no end as the only character that was vaguely interesting died first. And of course, it was quite easy to figure out who the final girl, or boy, would be. Nobody Gets Out Alive just wasn’t a very engaging, or interesting, movie. Everything in the film had been seen and done before, and done better. It’s all very well paying homage to the slasher flicks of yore, but you need to try and add something new to them; this was just a mash-up of what has gone before.
There were some decent kill scenes, but there wasn’t any tension to go with them, and one scene just involved two of the characters shouting over each other, which caused me to pause the movie and walk away for a few minutes.
An argument could be made for the fact that the movie is a low-budget affair, but that is one that I would shoot down in an instant. Technically there is nothing really wrong with the film; the effects are solid, as is the cinematography etc. When it comes to a script though it does not matter one iota what the budget is, and the script here is just banal and derivative, and it’s not really helped by the inexperienced cast. We do get Clint Howard pop up at the beginning, and very end (after the credits) of the movie, but aside from this there is not much I can really recommend.
Slasher films, good or bad, will always find an audience and I am sure this film will too. I personally won’t watch it again, as there have been far better modern day slashers to grace my screen. Nobody Gets Out Alive isn’t so much a bad movie, as it is a thoroughly unoriginal and uninspired one, where even the killer isn't memorable.
Nobody Gets Out Alive is released on DVD by Image Entertainment on February 26th.