MOVIE REVIEW: Suspense-thriller No One Lives delivers gruesome, methodical manslaughter

by Christine Denny
Sep 11, 2013


No One Lives begins with an establishing story about a beautiful young couple (played by Luke Evans and Laura Ramsey) who stops over at an inn in the middle of nowhere. Though they look well-off and harmless at first glance, they seem to have a dark secret that they’re running away from. As they are settling down in that remote town, however, the two come across a gang of ruthless criminals who just murdered an entire family.

Looking for more trouble, one of the bad guys gets cocky as he kidnaps the couple for ransom. But little did he know that he’s in worse danger as the male captive (Luke Evans) turns out to be a psychopathic killer, who will stop at nothing when his girlfriend-slash-most prized possession is put in danger.

A psycho-thriller with the most inventive and gruesome gore scenes you can dare to imagine, No One Lives barely gives moviegoers time to get over one brutal murder after another. The unnamed killer doesn’t believe in using guns for it removes the thrill in hunting down his victims. He’d rather use handcuffs, wood cutter, knives and other available weapons in the woods for longer and painful torture.

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It is shocking and scary at the same time how the central character (Evans) describes manslaughter as “getting the job done” in a thorough fashion. As ironic as it seems, he even makes a hardened criminal seem amateur as he tortured one of his victims to death. At one point, he chillingly declared, “You know what I hate about the common criminal? They're so mediocre!”

The film doesn’t really offer something new to viewers with its typical gory slasher story that reminds you of all-time favorites such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream to name a few. But what it lacks in innovative concept or technique, it certainly made up by bringing together key elements of an enjoyable suspense-thriller: simple plot, fast-paced editing and lots of gruesome scenes that will keep moviegoers at the edge of their seats.

Joining Luke Evans in the cast are Adelaide Clemens, Derek Magyar, and America Olivo, among others.

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Directed by Ryuhei Kitamura, No One Lives premieres in Philippine cinemas on September 11.

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