Available now on Amazon Video
In a forest a few guys have their douche bag camping trip interrupted by a masked killer, who ties two of the three up after knocking them out (one via Taser) while the third is just left on the ground. He kills them all of course, but it begs the question why he went to the trouble of breaking out the ropes or the stun gun and what he was doing while the guy who was free just lay there in the dirt. This immediately eyebrow raising prologue sequence doesn’t suggest that a great movie is incoming. The weird choices and uninteresting slasher deaths are setting the bar real low, and while it’s often interesting to see new ideas thrown into the mix during generic killer stories, Desecrated has nothing else to offer by the time the opening credits have passed by.
Allie (Haylie Duff) and her friends are off for their Spring Break and arrive at a property owned by her father (Michael Ironside). Of course it’s next to a sinister patch of woodland so while this isn’t the typical cabin scenario you know exactly what is going to happen here. Horny pot smoking teens and only a shifty family friend (Gonzalo Menendez) looking after the place, what could go wrong? It’s the same old thing with little to no novelty value, and they soon find themselves wandering outside at night and coming across a weird run down shack in the dark. All this has to happen for things to progress of course, but it’s made all the more bizarre when they have a huge holiday home to party in with its own swimming pool and no supervision. But they have to get into trouble somehow, and they walk along the least interesting path to do so.
The scary hideout contains a few interesting items including a candle lit shrine and some puzzling jars of indeterminate remains, which go missing as soon as the two love birds who broke in try and tell anyone about it. The problem is that within minutes of this place being found the killer is revealed, and it was the most obvious candidate without any basic hint of a red herring. The irritable caretaker Ben with his survival supplies and the locker full of ex-Marine Corps paraphernalia was the murderer, what a surprise. This revelation, or lack of, comes in really early on and nothing unusual is done with the story afterwards. The scary gas masks and night vision goggles aren’t even used to create a sense of a faceless killer; and with all his tools there are no outlandish death sequences to keep things from becoming stale. One off screen landmine and a bunch of gun shots are all they could muster; it’s really odd considering all the trips and traps that could be involved.
The pacing is particularly bad and there are no good moments of creeping dread or atmosphere along the way. They either walk around in the dark, sit around in the dark, or bicker endlessly about their own tedious romantic problems. During a scene where an off road jeep gets a flat tire they just travel between the garage and back, unhindered. Why not have them trying to fix the problem under time constraints or some kind of murder related duress? Being lost and isolated should be a real pressure cooker kind of situation but there’s little effort involved in creating any sort of tension. Eventually the death count builds but it’s never imaginative.
Michael Ironside gets just a few brief scenes to nobody’s surprise, and while he does a decent job the plot about his wife and children is superfluous and doesn’t add anything besides melodrama. The rest of the cast are pretty uninspiring when they bother trying, but while the most irritating teens die first they still have way too much screen time. The script is just a series of arguments and petty disputes when it’s not trying to run through all the same tired out horror clichés, which doesn’t help.
There are some attempts at making the killer of all people seem sympathetic, but the flashbacks and character reveals come along far too late to make it any less bland. The title of the movie kind of makes sense I guess, but it’s no less boring because of it. Later as the cast discovers what we already know about Ben it never builds up to a big finale and instead is just a few more scenes running and stumbling about in the woods. In one chuckle worthy moment the big clues are found on some kind of TripAdvisor review of the property; what detective work! Again I find myself asking why they didn’t have an interesting discovery scene in Ben’s workshop or a scary basement, or that one shack in the woods which is never used again. But instead, nothing. It held no promise in the opening and delivers no surprises when it ends, there’s little more I can say.