Seven Below(released April/12)stars Val Kilmer as McCormick,Ving Rhames as Jack,Luke Goss as Issac,Bonnie Somerville as Brooklyn,Matt Barr as Adam and others.This is a huge disappointment,considering the talent that was on deck here.The fickle finger of fate can easily be pointed at one thing:the writing.It is as lame and cliched as they come,and there is no stopping this juggernaut's personal voyage to the bottom of the sea.
The story intro's us to a dysfunctional household in in the early 20th century.It's inhabitants make up a family of six,three children,a mother,a wife,and a husband who openly sleeps with other women and abuses his wife.It seems their only boy is adopted and one night during a terrible storm(are there ever any other type of nights in these stories?),he goes on a killing spree and kills his entire family.We never do learn about what happened to the boy post murders.Fast forward in time and there is a van carrying some people to a retreat.Along the way one of them spots a girl,who promptly disappears.Farther on the girl is seen in the road which sends the van careening into a tree.The driver lies dead and the rest are wondering what the next move is.In comes Rhames who lives just up the road a piece and offers them all sanctuary from a coming storm,which it will later turn out is a "storm of the century".
Rhames is hospitable up to a point but Kilmer has a gash on his head and is seemingly delirious,as he keeps repeating that they all ought to get out of the house.The storm approaches ever nearer and Barr feels he should at least try to go for help.On the way he finds a truck broken down and the girl driving it is the same clerk he met at a convenience store earlier that day.He offers her a drive back to her place of employ to get gas but the road,they soon find,is blocked.So it is back to Rhames digs for the night.Seems they should have listened to Kilmer's advice because poor old Val is the first one to go as he lay delirious in bed.One by one death stalks the entire house.Rhames is questioned by Goss out in the barn and later Barr questions him when he finds incriminating old photos and newspaper clippings of the old murdered family in the basement.One photo which has Barr stumped is a picture showing Rhames standing beside the murdered family when they were alive.Well things keep going downhill until there are only Rhames and four others left.The four make a break for it through the woods and one of the two women get stabbed.The two guys get separated but eventually find each other again along with the convenience store clerk.They end up back at the house they left from but the murder victims along with the original family are all seated at a table eating.Rhames stands next to the table.It seems he was originally their servant and that the victims so far,and the ones still alive,are all the reincarnations of that original family.The three flee only to run into the stabbed woman.Farther out they end up amongst some newly dug graves and head stones with their names on them.The three end up blaming Rhames,who says has been around for centuries and goes by "many names".But he isn't the killer,the killer is the possessed convenience store clerk.She stabs one of the guys then she stabs herself,to end the curse.The movie ends with a fast forward and Barr has married the convenience store clerk,who is miraculously not dead after all.She is cutting up some veggies for supper and it shows Barr leave for the dining room while she picks up the knife and heads out to him.Out in the woods is the little boy who originally murdered his parents.Oooooh.
The ending should have been the clerk dying.But just to show how much worse things could get,they added their own padded ending onto it.Kilmer gets top billing here,but really has just a pedestrian part(and plays it so) and is either sitting or laying down for most of it,which is very short lived as he is the first victim,not too far into the film.With this been-there done-that cliche' ridden plot,none of the actors really get a chance to shine.By the time we learn the truth about Rhames,he's standing there with a moving pocket watch trying to act scary,but it just comes across as cheesy.All the others do the best with what they have,but all the fog/mist,incidental music,running shadows,disappearing/reappearing people,reflections in the mirror of those not really there,etc,etc.,could not possibly save this turkey of a film.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 1:78:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras include the trailer.
Boy what a let down this was.A good cast just thrown to the dogs with a terrible cliched script.There is nothing scary to be seen here folks.Give it a pass.1 1/2-2 stars.