(18) Running time: 120 mins
Director: James Eaves
Writer: James Eaves
Starring: Sophia Dawney, Lisa Devlin, Jonathan Sidgwick
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
What looked good on paper most certainly did not look good on my TV. The premise of Bane was a mixture of Saw and Hostel with some possible supernatural or even other lifeform rumblings. The idea that four girls are subjected to horrific experiments down in some dirty underground building is certainly one idea that would keep genre fans happy, but something went hideously wrong here.
As promised, four girls do indeed wake up in an underground building, but sadly the painfully bright lighting takes away any sense of dread, and the so-called sinister ‘Doctors’ speak like robots and show absolutely no emotion whilst ‘torturing’ the girls. I say torturing, but I mean that lightly, the violence on offer here is barely worthy of a 15 certificate. The Doctors do not come across as cold, calculating, creepy people, but instead just look like grown men who can’t act. The girls, bless them, do their best in a bad situation, but sadly they too cannot act and it is extremely difficult to find a connection with any of them. The four girls are made up of the tough one, an annoying emotional wreck, a pathetic one and of course the heroine who you can spot a mile off. You won’t like them, you won’t care what happens to them and thanks to all the above elements there is zero tension or menace.
Speaking of tension, the filmmakers have decided to keep the plot and the reasons for the so-called torture a secret until the final, brain melting quarter where they pile on so much information and offer so many plot twists and characters you will completely lose exactly what is going on. The secrecy in the build up should have helped crank up the tension, but sadly it will just irritate more than anything. There is a very interesting twist come the end, as the story completely turns on its head with the addition of a new ‘character’ but by this time I doubt you will even care.
Not scary, not disturbing, and certainly not good. Bane is the perfect example of an inventive, original and interesting idea gone bad in the wrong hands. This certainly had potential, but everyone involved has completely ruined anything that should have been good about this film.