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No One Lives (2012)

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No One Lives (2012) – A gang of ruthless highway killers kidnap a wealthy couple traveling cross-country only to shockingly discover that things are not what they seem.

Director: Ryûhei Kitamura

Cast:

Luke Evans – Driver
Adelaide Clemens – Emma
Lee Tergesen – Hoag
Derek Magyar – Flynn
America Olivo – Tamara
Beau Knapp – Denny
Lindsey Shaw – Amber

No One Lives, the latest feature from WWE studios, comes from a director who should be familiar to most genre fans; Ryuhei Kitamura, the man behind the fantastic adaptation of Clive Barkers short story Midnight Meat Train (2008).

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Don’t let the WWE brand put you off though, No One Lives is a superb watch and up there as one of the best times I’ve had watching a movie this year. I want people to go into it as spoiler free as possible, so I’ll be keeping this review short and sweet. I’ve seen a lot of reviews give away big twists and I’m glad I didn’t read them until afterwards. The unexpected events and crazy holy-shit moments may be a little far-fetched at times, but boy are they worth it and entertaining.

The story revolves around a man credited only as Driver (Luke Evans) and his girlfriend Betty (Laura Ramsey) moving cross-country when they decide to stop off at a rundown little town and stay at the local motel. Once there, while eating dinner, they run into a gang who had recently murdered a family as they returned home while being robbed. One member of this gang, Flynn (Derek Magyar – Train) is the hot-tempered type and gets into Driver’s face whilst hitting on his girlfriend. Seeing enough, Hoag (Lee Tergesen – The Collection), the leader of this pack and his crew force Flynn to leave.

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Flynn won’t leave this couple alone, and after seeing the expensive BMW decides to run the couple off the road, and take what he can get from them. Lets just say he gets more than he bargained for, as Luke Evans has a particular set of skills and decides to go after some revenge. Driver tracks down the gang and takes them out one by one, in some unique ways. The man is a master hunter!

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No One Lives is a nasty, bloody movie, and it was nice to see some different methods of inflicting pain used here. In particular, there is one key scene where Driver (no relation to the Gosling character, although they share some skills) does one of the most unique trojan-horse tricks ever put on film; it’s disgusting yet brilliant even if it requires a stretch of logic for it to happen.

WWE’s loyal audience will be happy with the appearance of someone called Brodus Clay in a role as the bandits muscle, and although his acting is something to be desired, he works in this role and should bring in the WWE fans regardless.

no one lives wwe

The characters are for the most part unlikable with questionable ethics giving the viewer no obvious good guys, but this should not act as a deterrent. No different to Midnight Meat Train really. Luke Evan’s character gives plenty for the audience to devour and dissect, and the occasional flashback offers up more glimpses of how messed up he is. In the wrong hands his character could have been one-dimensional and dull, but Evans knocks it out of the park and is mesmerizing to watch. More and more I’m excited to see his take on the upcoming The Crow remake/reboot.

no one lives

Ambiguity in a film is quite divisive for me. Whilst I do like putting pieces together and drawing my own conclusions, sometimes a resolution is needed otherwise things can get ugly. Rarely does something like No One Lives get away with offering more questions than answers, but for me it just does. I’d love to delve deeper into the Driver character, and see more of his beginning and how he got the way he did, and started the things he does, but I liked having to make up my own story about him. I can definitely see the attraction for Kitamura taking on this story, even though as he admits himself he didn’t want to make another bloody picture.

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In summary then, I’ve tried to give very little away. All you need to know is that this is a bloody, visceral, nasty little movie. With a short run time and it’s relentless pacing, No One Lives comes highly recommended. Some of the background characters and corny dialogue in places knocked the score down a little, but there are things in this movie horror fans won’t have seen before, and I hope you enjoy No One Lives as much as I did.

Ratings08

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51 Comments

  1. Top work buddy. A guilty pleasure by the looks of it.

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    • Thanks mate. Yeah very much so, as a horror fan its nice to see something different, rather than the usual paint by numbers horror can churn out. Some crazy good stuff going on here 🙂

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  2. Abbi

     /  September 4, 2013

    This actually looks like something I might like. Love revenge as a theme!!!

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    • It is always a good theme! And whilst the critics tend to be negative towards this movie, I really enjoyed it!!! A few surprises and some great kills, little bit of story and that’s all I need 🙂

      Thanks Abbi

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      • Abbi

         /  September 4, 2013

        I no longer even read anything the critics have to say. I find the reviews and opinions of fellow bloggers far more credible.

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        • I just check a few major sites I normally agree with, but it would never change my opinion. I try not reading any till I’ve watched and wrote my thoughts. Our blogging community is always varied with their thoughts, always fun to read 🙂

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      • Yeah, I’ve read a lot of negative reviews, but I thought this film was great – if a little too disgusting at times!

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  3. I really want to see this now. I only caught up with Midnight Meat Train last year, and had a grand time with it, so that’s all you had to say to get my interest. Thanks for the heads up, Tyson!

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    • Glad you liked the Meat Train, very underrated and was given such a shitty release. This is on a par I’d say, different but no less bloody. Hope you enjoy it Michael 🙂

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  4. See, its a lot of fun 😀

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  5. I like films like that I will have to hunt it out. I still haven’t had the guts to watch Devil Inside yet. The thought of watching a film so crap that Atlantic Rim may be worth watching instead, or Battle for Los Angeles (Both cheap pretend versions of the big budget films)

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  6. theipc

     /  September 4, 2013

    I’ve been meaning to watch this for a while but my iTunes account has been fucked up for months. Sounds good!

    Nice to see you back in action, Tiger.

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    • It is good, I THINK you will like it……or at least I hope you will.

      And thanks bud, trying to get more and more active, posting more regular reviews etc 🙂 3 this month already!!

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  7. Don’t know if I’ll check this out but it does sound half decent. Nice write-up bro.

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    • More than half decent dude, great fun!! Might not be for you, but you liked Drive and this guy is like a more fucked up version of that! 🙂

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  8. Big fan of Luke Evans. I’ll have to give this one a watch based on your review!

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    • I havent really seen him in much, aside from Fast & Furious 6 and now this. I like him, great screen presence. Cheers Ryan, hope you like it, being a horror fan especially 🙂

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  9. I loved the film, found it refreshing.

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  10. I’ve heard awesome things about it. Glad to hear you liked it! Can’t wait to see it.

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  11. The poster looks creepy enough but the tattooed guy with the knife, wearing that muscle shirt and bandana in one of the photo captions you posted, looks like somebody I wouldn’t want to mess with…straight out of a video game or something, lol. Horror is not my thing but the movies’ gotta have at least one thing to get my attention…either a good or easy to follow story, characters that I want to root for, or enough good action to keep it interesting. If it has all of those things, great. If it has at least one of those things, then I might be able to give it a shot. The blood and gore thing keeps me at a distance though, so I’d probably only watch something like this if I was hanging out with a group of friends who wanted to check it out. I had a friend who loves horror movies….she’s usually the one who gets me to watch titles that I would otherwise skip.

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    • Hey Nicole 🙂

      You make lots of great points (as always!). On this occasion, story is so simple, but the action just made me look past the weaknesses. Sucker for blood and torture done well I suppose! Hope your friend convinces you to check this out one day 🙂

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  12. You like seeing new ways of inflicting pain? Ew 🙂

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    • Haha yeah I thought that could be interpreted badly……. I meant after all the mundane movies with the same kills it gets boring. It’s nice to see new things and variety in the killing 🙂

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  13. Now and again I do like some brutal violence (in films). Sounds alright. Nice work mate.

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  14. My mom freaking loves horror movies and just has tons and tons of horror DVDs on the shelf at home. One of them is Midnight Meat Train and the first time I saw that title I teased her about watching pornos in her spare time (because that title could be read that way, by someone goofy like me.) But then a couple of weeks later I saw this zombie movie called Boy Eats Girl on the DVD shelf and then the jokes really took off. Although she assures me that both were entertaining movies I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch them because the titles trip me up too much, lol.
    Great review! I agree with you on the ambiguity factor. Sometimes I like not knowing and having to formulate my own conclusions. But with a movie like this I’d rather have definitive answers on what went down and why.

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    • Your mom (weird, mum sounds better being a Brit lol) sounds amazing!!! I need to get her reading my site 😉 She has great taste, although it may sound like a porno, the Meat Train is a great movie!

      There are some unanswered questions this movie brings up, but for the most part, the title gives away the plot. People die and shit gets fucked up!!

      Thanks Smash 🙂

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  15. Never heard of this one. Will check it out!!

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  16. Great review. 🙂 I’m totally not watching this as it sounds really gross! Lol.

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