1 out of 10
Release date: 26th December 2016 (DVD Premiere)
Cast: Robert Render, Anthony Boyle, Vivian Jamison, Caroline Burns Cooke and Kenneth Thompson
Writer: George Clarke
A wonderfully nonsensical and mateurish crack at a twister, George Clark‘s third feature sees him in venture into Saw territory. Two vaguely connected men find themselves chained together deep in the forest. One of them is a school teacher, Andrews (ROBERT RENDER – THE LAST LIGHT) and the other is dim-witted teen, Kieran (ANTHONY BOYLE). They don’t know why they’re there or who is watching their every move.Each of them also has a revolver containing one bullet gaffer taped to their hand. contained in the latter half will only reveal spoilers. And although Onus should have been titled Anus, I won’t be mean and give away the end. I’ll just call it childish names instead.
A lot of ambition is on display here but alas the talent to pull it off doesn’t show up. The good aspects include a tasty soundtrack track and a reasonably good performance from the director’s ‘go-to’ lead, Robert Render. Unfortunately, the editing is sloppy, the sound mix is borderline terrible with much of the dialogue at the beginning of chapter two drowned out by background noise.
The plot has several gigantic holes (no spoilers from me) but how difficult would a gun gaffer taped in your hand be to remove? One of the points reliable on the success of the villain’s scheme is that nobody would try to escape. But bad plotting aside, much of the film has a plodding pace where it should have been fast moving and exciting. Instead, Onus feels like a chore and an exercise in how to finish a feature despite having no talent or dicernible idea how to make an action-thriller.
1 out of 10 – Slow with a badly-plotted story that tries to be different but just ends up being repetitive, derivative of similar thrillers, all with zero resources to achieve a satisfying end result. It took me four attempts to watch it all the way through. Not good.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Robert Render: Splash Area, The Blood Harvest, The Last Light
- Anthony Boyle: Splash Area
- Vivian Jamison: The Last Light