Available now on Amazon Video
In a spooky forest a trio of guys have their douche-bag camping trip interrupted by a masked killer. They tie two of the three up after knocking them out (one via Taser) while the third is just left on the ground. He quickly kills them all of course, so you have to wonder why he went to the trouble of breaking out the ropes or the stun gun and what he was thinking while the victim who was free was lying 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 meeting a pretty low bar, 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 rolled.
Allie (Haylie Duff) and her friends are spending their Spring Break at a rural property owned by her father (Michael Ironside). It’s next to a sinister patch of woodland of course, so while this isn’t the usual abandoned cabin setting you know exactly what is going to happen. Horny pot smoking teens by themselves with only a shifty family friend (Gonzalo Menendez) looking after the place? What could possibly go wrong. It’s the same old formula 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.
This venture outside has to happen for things to progress, but it’s made all the more bizarre when they have such a huge holiday home to party in with its own swimming pool and no supervision. But they have to get into trouble somehow, and unfortunately they walk along the least interesting path to find it. The scary hideout contains a few interesting items including a candle lit shrine and some puzzling jars of indeterminate remains, but these items go missing as soon as the two love birds who broke in try and tell anyone about it. What a mystery. 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 attempt at suggesting a red herring.
The irritable caretaker Ben, a man keeping a variety survival supplies and a locker full of ex-Marine Corps paraphernalia was the murderer. The film makers pretty up front about this for some reason. This revelation, or lack thereof, comes along really early and nothing interesting is done with the plot afterwards. The scary gas masks and night vision goggles aren’t even employed to create a sense of a faceless killer. Strange still his tools are never used to depict a few really outlandish death sequences to keep things from becoming stale. One off screen landmine and a bunch of gun shots are all they could muster, which is really odd considering all the trips and traps that could have been involved.
The pacing is incredibly poor and there are no real moments of creeping dread or sinister atmosphere to generate suspense along the way. The characters 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, without any narrative momentum. 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 body count starts to stack up but it’s never imaginative.
Genre movie favourite Michael Ironside does show up but he gets just a few brief scenes to nobody’s surprise. While he does a decent job with the material the subplot plot about his wife and children is superfluous and doesn’t add anything to the proceedings besides melodrama. The rest of the actors involved are pretty uninspiring, when they bother trying at all, but while the most irritating teens die first they still have far 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 this feel any less tedious.
There are some attempts at making the killer of all people seem sympathetic, but the flashbacks and character reveals come along far too late and fail to make the story any more interesting. The title of the movie kind of makes sense at least, 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, instead it just results in more scenes of people 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! Maybe it would have been an interesting discovery scene to find this out in Ben’s workshop or a scary basement, or that even in that shack in the woods which is never seen again. But instead the revelations are a big fat nothing nothing. It showed no promise in the opening and it delivers no surprises by the end, so at least it’s consistent I guess.