Thursday, 28 July 2022

All Must Die (2019) - Horror Film Review

All Must Die
(original title Utdrikningslaget) is a Norwegian slasher that was directed and co-written by Geir Greni. It soon became clear upon starting the screener I had for this that there were no English subtitles. I decided as this was a slasher that I would watch it regardless, with the assumption that once the killing began it wouldn't matter too much that I couldn't understand any dialogue. Unfortunately, while All Must Die is indeed a slasher, it is also a dialogue heavy one, leading to me being avoidably bemused throughout. As such, take my musings on this with a pinch of salt, I am sure the actual release version of this will have subtitles. My synopsis is based on what I think it was all about and may differ from reality.

Gina (Viktoria Winge) is taken away by her four friends for a surprise bachelorette party at a remote cabin. The night begins well with plenty of alcohol and partying, then Gina finds herself in the lead role for a horror themed scavenger hunt. As she follows the clues she begins to notice that things seem a little too real, she keeps getting chased by a masked person (the mask creepily being of her face) armed with an axe, and the fake body parts she encounters seem a little fresh. Despite her friends assuring her this is all part of the game they have created for her, Gina can't shake the feeling that something really is not right with the evening.

The first forty five minutes of this eighty minute movie is the build up to the night of horror. It is all as you would expect, the five friends have differing personalities, with it feeling like there is an undercurrent of something not quite right, such as some voyeuristic camera angles used. When the horror does begin it is all stop and start, moments with Gina alone being chased and discovering what she believes to be bodies, balanced against more downbeat moments where she finds friends who don't believe her stories. With that part it helps that the killer is a considerate one who cleans up after themselves, so Gina trying to prove what is happening is constantly made to look like she has imagined events. It leads to a surprising third act in which past events are shown to have played out slightly differently that what had been presented to the viewer up to that point.

Initially a lot of the kills occur off-screen, the ones that do take place on camera are effective if not overly bloody. One involving a manual drill looked kind of gnarly though. I appreciate I had no idea what characters are saying but they never looked too upset to find out their friends had been killed, Gina especially remains serious and resolute in the face of danger rather than a stereotypical panic driven protagonist you might expect. With so much dialogue to be found here I spent a lot of the runtime quite clueless as to what was going on. I felt like the intro credits clued me in on the film more than anything, a series of polaroid photos of Gina and her husband-to-be that are made to seem less than idyllic thanks to the sinister music playing over the images. 

All Must Die tries to do something different to the norm with a slasher. I would be lying if I said I hadn't seen the late plot twist in plenty of other slashers, but this one seemed like it was carried out well, with plenty of the third act dedicated to trying to make it seem feasible. Obviously not being able to understand any of the dialogue was a big hindrance to my enjoyment of this, but it is something I can't pretend wasn't an issue so I have to factor it in to my review. What I will say is that if you either are fluent in Norwegian, or are watching a version of this with subtitles relative to your particular language then add on another rotted zombie head to my rating. All Must Die comes to Digital and VOD platforms on August 2nd from Breaking Glass Pictures. This includes iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Xbox, and Vudu.


No comments: