31 movie full length review - Another Zombie Letdown
As so many others, I too was excited about "31" and could not wait to finally watch it. Maybe it was that high expectations, that was part of my disappointment, but I am not willed to explain everything that was wrong in the movie with that premise.
I have to say, before I write about the movie itself, that I never shared the opinion of those, who see Rob Zombie basically as the horror messiah, who will reinvent the genre. He basically had 2 good movies (Devil's Rejects, Halloween), all other movies were pretty bad. House of 1000 Corpses was a ridiculously bad B-movie, Halloween 2 was bad even for a film school student, and those few parts that were good in Lords of Salem were copied from other movies. First Halloween reboot was only good, because he had a rich franchise with tons of information to build on.
He gets the look every time, I'll give him that, and I won't even make fun about how a grown up man calls himself "Zombie", but the content of his movies is a major letdown every single time. I'd never thought to say this, but in terms of innovative horror movies, I prefer Eli Roth before Zombie every day.
Rob is an awesome musician, and yes, maybe even a good director. But he is an horrible screenplay writer with no idea how to develop characters and dialogues. No wonder, all characters in "31" are superficial clichés with no debt, talking horrible stupid stuff, that is meant to sound smart. The "Doomhead" being so obviously being a Heath Ledger's Joker tribute just confirms that. Basically the most interesting character in the movie is a (bad) rip-off. And did he really need the slo-mo clap? That was so bad, I was close to turn off the TV.
Also,he really should stop to cast his wife for every female lead. If not married to him, she would never have become an actress, at least not in a main role. I don't care if she is hot (I by the way don't think so, she is SO skinny and looks old for her age), I care about acting skills.
Maybe, if Rob could direct a movie with a screenplay written by an experienced and talented writer...? But this way, letting him do whatever he wants, we get movies like "31".
So, the protagonists get abducted and sent into an Arena, to fight to death with some clowns with freaky names (Doomhead, Deathhead, Bashhead, and so on...). That's pretty much all, no more exposition or plot details. Why? No idea, and the movie does not care about explaining anything - being sick is basically it's only excuse and motivation. "Why do they do this?" "Because they have sick minds". "Aha. And why does Doomhead what he does? Does he get paid BIG time?" "Ah, he is sich minded". "What is special about Doomhead at all? To me does not look any more dangerous than the rest of the freaks?" "Ah, he is even sicker as them". And so on. A few freaky characters get shown, some people die, mainly by blade weapons, until an, in my opinion, pretty stupid ending.
Okay, there is some gore in the movie, which I appreciated. I did like the characters, even if superficial - but this made the movie even worse, because you are interested - but don't get any answers or backgrounds.
I also liked the Soundtrack a lot, I love all this 60s and 70s music, and it blended in nicely.
But the overall execution was just bad - ridiculous fighting choreographies, that gave me the impression, everything in this movie was filmed by first take (maybe they wanted to proudly say that they shot the movie in 31 days or something like this), especially the text passages of Sheri Moon Zombies. Man, stop letting her talk - no expression, no motivation, no acting. At all.
So, what can I say? I give 4/10, 4 points for having interesting characters (who never get developed in any way), a good soundtrack, some gore and a good colour correction).
But can I recommend this? Gosh, no, I cannot.
I have still hope for Rob Zombie, and I will see his next movie. But if this will be bad again, I am out of the Zombie business, because by then he will have delivered 3 bad movies in a row - in my world more than enough to lose my respect permanently.
Sorry, Zombie fans - I know you have another opinion and will probably flame me, but this is my personal view. In my eyes, "31" is a disappointing letdown. There could have been so much more, this could have been such a good movie. But for that another director or at least screenplay writer would have been necessary.
Maybe next time.