DVD REVIEW: KINGDOM COME / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: GREG A. SAGER / SCREENPLAY: GREG A. SAGER, GEOFF HART, A. JAYE WILLIAMS / STARRING: RY BARRETT, CAMILLE HOLLETT-FRENCH, JASON MARTORINO, KATIE UHLMANN, ELLIE O’BRIEN / RELEASE DATE: TBC
When a group of unconnected strangers awaken in a dank room with no memory of how they got there, with nothing better to do they begin exploring the abandoned building they are seemingly trapped within. It soon transpires that each of them is hiding a terrible secret, and that they are being hunted by unseen forces lurking in the shadows.
If that doesn’t fire off alarm bells of potential tedium, know that director Greg A. Sager was previously responsible for the tepid puddle of afterbirth that was The Devil In Me (aka Devil Seed), and here gives us what is essentially Saw II rehashed with supernatural overtones, but utterly devoid of the sense of engagingly gruesome mystery such a description would suggest. A generic cast make the best of what little they’re given, but with underdeveloped characters and stilted dialogue punctuated by unimaginative profanity, they really don’t have a lot to work with. A few of the roomful of stereotypes aren’t entirely unlikable, inducing some glimmer of concern for their safety, so it really doesn’t seem reasonable to expect them to pay for a single mistake by having disproportionate levels of horrific violence inflicted upon them. However, the flipside of this is the voyeuristic enjoyment derived from punishment being meted out to those who unequivocally deserve it; there is without a doubt a certain degree of satisfaction to be had in watching a serial rapist have his guts torn out or a paedophile being beaten to death with a spade.
In between intermittent scenes of substandard torture porn the paper thin story is gradually revealed, and turns out to be nothing you’ve not seen before and as such will have already predicted well ahead of the big reveal. Threadbare clichés run rampant (“Maybe we should all split up”) and very little of any import actually takes place, and instead of coming off as equal parts moral ambiguity and visceral horror, the action provokes little more than boredom.
The lacklustre plotting is occasionally relieved by some genuinely creepy creature design and the third-act introduction of a scenery-chewing villain ties events together, but mere moments of inspired imagination doesn’t make up for gormless characters monotonously stumbling around for over an hour and a half. While Sager has noticeably improved from his feature debut, that’s really not saying much.
Special Features: TBC
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