Search
3D 5th Wave 70s Culture 80s Cinema A Night of Horror AAustralian film Action Activism Adaptation Adelaide Film Festival Adventure Advocacy African American Age of Adaline AI albanian Alien Abduction alien covenant aliens alt-right altzheimers amazon Amitabh Bachchan Animation anime anthology Anti-vaxx Ari Gold Art Asia Pacific Screen Awards Asian Cinema Australian film AV Industry Bad Robot BDSM Beach Boys Berlinale BFG Bianca Biasi Big Hero 6 Biography Biopic Blade Runner Blake Lively B-Movies Bollywood Breast Cancer Brian Wilson Brisbane Bruce Willis Camille Keenan Cancer candyman Cannes cannibalism Cannon Films Cesars CGI Chapman To Character Actors Charlie Hunnam Charlize Theron Chemsex China Lion Chloe Grace Moretz Chris Hemsworth Chris Pratt Christchurch christian cinema christmas Christopher Nolan Classic Cinema Clint Eastwood Close Encounters Cloverfield Comedy Coming-of-Age Conor McGregor Conspiracy Controversy Crowd-sourced Cult Cure Dakota Johnson Dance Academy Dardennes Brothers darth vader Debut Deepika Padukone Depression Disaster Movies Disney Diversity Documentary doomsday Dr Moreau drama Dunkirk Dustin Clare Dystopic EL James eli roth Elizabeth Banks Entourage Environmental Epic Erotic Cinema Extra-terrestrial Extreme Sports faith-based Family Film Fantasy Father Daughter Feminism Fifty Shades of Grey Film Film Festival Foreign found footage French Cinema Friendship Fusion Technology Gareth Edwards Gay Cinema Ghostbusters Ghosts Golan Globus Gothic green inferno Guardians of the Galaxy Guillermo del Toro Gun Control Hacker Hailee Steinfeld Han Solo Happiness Harrison Ford Harry Dean Stanton Hasbro Haunted house Hhorror Himalaya Hitchcock Hollywood Holocaust Hong Kong horror Horror Film Housebound Hunger Games
« WONDER WOMEN! THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICAN SUPERHEROINES | Main | SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN »
Monday
Jul022012

THE CARETAKER

Stars: Lee Mason, Mark White, Colin MacPherson, Anna Burgess, Kerri-Anne Baker and Clint Dowdell.
Writer / Director: Tom Conyers

REVELATIONS FILM FESTIVAL Screening - Sat July 14, 11.10pm.

Rating: 2/5


Clearly inspired by the small-town setting and big genre vision of The Spierig Brothers’ 2003 surprise horror hit Undead, Tom Conyers’ bloodsucker-uprising flick The Caretaker looses sight of the inherent sense of fun that made that dusty Ozploitation shocker such a hoot. Instead, we get a pretty dour bunch of unlikable stereotypes trapped in an overwrought melodrama with lofty ambitions it never attains.

There is little wrong with the film from a production perspective, despite what is clearly a low-budget labour of love for the Melbourne-based filmmaker (he also EP’s and edits his debut feature). Images captured by cinematographer Matt Wood are crisp and often inventively framed; flavoursome set design, especially a sequence shot in a creepy cellar that doubles as a vamp lair, exhibits quality artistry. Gorehounds, despite having seen it all before, may still find merit in some of the more graphic stagings of vampire action.

Conceptually, the premise has merit. The group of misfits in a remote rural enclave taking a stand against an evil uprising is an old one (Romero’s Night of the Living Dead being the most obvious in this case), but of more interest is the device that posits a vampire-warrior type (a commanding Mark White) as their protector in a dark alliance that threatens to collapse as the pressure to survive mounts. Subplots, though, are meagre; the final reel twist, unconvincing and confusing.

The film’s greatest liability is the pretentious ambitions of the script, especially in a first act that sets in motion an underlying anger towards women that permeates the film. We meet anti-hero Ron (Lee Mason) as he delivers an impassioned, bitter diatribe (to a pub full of blokey best mates) against the unfairness of the modern divorce laws; the words exude an all-too-convincing mean-spiritedness (the speech recalls Tom Cruise’s pro-male empowerment rant in Magnolia).

Additionally, the sole female protagonist in the film, Annie (Anna Kate Burgess), is a snide princess who early on chides her loving partner, Guy (Clint Dowdell) despite his best efforts at romance. Her character’s devolution from a selfish shrew into a simpering victim does neither Burgess nor the film’s credibility any favours. Noteworthy also is that the film’s nastiest vampire baddies are almost exclusively women.

Conyers exhibits some deft touches with his lensing and pacing only to be undermined by his bloated and bitter script. One senses his time will come under a stronger producer’s guiding influence, working with a more seasoned and disciplined writer’s screenplay.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>