31 Days of Halloween, Day 16: No One Lives

p9758980_p_v8_aaSo this movie was quite different from the Netflix description!

What Netflix says:

Driver and his girlfriend Betty kidnap Emma, a teenage heiress. They’re run off the road by robbers, who discover Emma and are determined to collect the reward for her safe return. But there’s something even more dangerous lurking in the woods.

While I can’t exactly dispute the fact that the heiress is kidnapped, it is said repeatedly throughout the movie that “Driver” does not  have a name.  Is “Driver” just the way the credits refer to him?  And the only thing dangerous lurking in the woods is “Driver.”

The movie begins with Emma, the heiress, dangling from a tree, scratching out a message that says “Emma Alive.”  Flash to 8 months later, and the hunt is still on to find Emma.  At first I thought Driver and Betty were also looking for Emma.  They seem to have an odd relationship even before they are besieged by the robbers – a deadly family of criminals who try not to kill as they rob houses but somehow it happens.  As Driver and Betty are held at machete-point, Betty decides the best option is to cut her own throat on the machete.  This allows Driver the chance to escape and brutally murder the dude with the machete.  Meanwhile, the robbers have stolen their car, but in the trunk they discover Emma, who says that “he” will kill them all.

Thus commences a scenario wherein the bad guys are chased by a worse guy, a guy who is seemingly immortal, with deadly assassin skills.  Driver enjoys killing his victims in extremely brutal ways and there are buckets of gore as well as a lot of psychological cat & mouse stuff.  Much better than I thought it would be!

This isn’t a wholly new concept – here are a few others that are similar:

  • Fallen (1998) – This serial killer can jump from host to host.
  • Last House on the Left (1972, 2009) – The original was much edgier than the remake (which was itself an adaptation of “The Virgin Spring”) – basically, daughter is violently raped and killed by a band of psychos, who later arrive at the parents’ house seeking refuge from a storm.  But the killers don’t realize that the parents know they killed their daughter, and exact their revenge.
  • Taken (2008) – Some kidnappers discover they have kidnapped the wrong guy’s daughter – “I will find you, and I will kill you.”
  • Taking Lives (2004) – It’s hard to track a serial killer who can take on the identity of his victim…
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