Director : Christopher Denham
Cast : Wrenn Schmidt, Aaron Staton and Pablo Schreiber
Twenty five reviews down, six (including this one) to go. I’m not going to lie, this second “Season of Horror” has been a slog because of the quality of movies I’ve watched. So few have been worth the time and effort and I can’t wait until this time next week when I don’t have to worry about it ever again (I don’t intend to do another “Season of Horror” just for the sake of clarity).
So we move onto a film that I started watching quite a while ago and never got around to finishing. When I say quite a while ago I mean sometime in 2016, and given we’re almost 5/6 of the way through 2017, that should tell you how little in a rush I was.
Oh well, here we go.
Wit (Schmidt), her husband Mike (Staton) and his brother Sean (Schreiber) go to the woods on a hunting trip. Sean is suffering from PTSD following return from war and Mike hopes the trip can help him recover, all the time unaware that Wit only agreed to come to try and rekindle their marriage. Everything seems relatively fine at first but one morning they wake up to find their tents and belongings gone.
Mike blames Sean for this and the two get into a fight, to which Wit tries to stop by announcing that she is pregnant. Sean goes to find his dog, whereas Mike and Wit try to locate their car, but it soon becomes apparent that they weren’t the only ones hunting that weekend.
So is “Preservation” any good?
When I saw the average rating of 4.7 on IMDB I was fearing the worst because as I alluded to a few days ago in another review, I have very rarely enjoyed a film that I’ve reviewed for this site that had a rating of lower than 5/10, so I was ready to experience something that wasn’t going to be good.
I was mildly surprised by what I watched as there is a certain element of decent film-making in there and although the acting leaves a lot to be desired in places, it is still a fairly enjoyable horror film. You’re rarely sure where the killers are in relation to the main characters, so at least there is something mildly fresh there.
No-one really acts that well and is actually that likable, and whilst Wit becomes a total bad-ass by the end, her character up until that point is a bit tedious and unremarkable to say the least. The antagonists aren’t given a single bit of backstory either and other than sharing annoying text speak with each other, even though they are literally just a few feet from each other at the time. You’re not really given a reason to want them to fail other than that they’re killing the main characters, who again weren’t that likable in the first place.
I can see why a lot of people wouldn’t like it because it is fairly predictable. You also get the feeling that when Wit says “I can’t bring myself to do it” when it comes to firing a gun earlier in the movie, she will someone pluck up the courage by the end of the 90 minute film, so in that sense the characters are straight from a textbook of horror tropes.
It wasn’t as bad as 4.7/10 suggests but I can definitely see why a lot of people don’t like this movie. You’re given no reason to want the characters to survive and they just aren’t that interest. Add to this bad guys that just aren’t that compelling either and you’re left with a largely uninspired movie.
The final twenty or so minutes are far better than the seventy that preceded it, but by this point it is hard to really care because of how poorly the main characters are developed.
I won’t quite say to avoid it, but it certainly isn’t worth going out of your way to watch it.