Rob Zombie's 31 Is a Phenomenal Return to Form [Review]
Rob Zombie has a knack for making visceral, carnage candy films that wash over you in a wave of sheer brilliance that no other current filmmaker can match. That is not hype, it is fact. The man does this type of horror extremely well and he should be praised for it. He doesn't just make a horror movie, he makes a horror film filled with amazing colors, art direction, scores to heighten the visuals and a soundtrack that puts you in the right state of mind. Zombie is not just a rock god but a true auteur. After trying his hand with more subtle horror, Lords of Salem, Zombie has return to form with the fantastic 31.
Five carnival workers are kidnapped the night before Halloween and held hostage in a large compound. At the mercy of their captors, they are forced to play a twisted game of life or death called 31. For the next 12 hours, they must fight for their lives against an endless parade of homicidal maniacs.
The cast, as is with any Zombie movie, is absolutely perfect. Everyone does such an amazing job that even the bit roles have weight to them. Foremost, Richard Brake as Doom-Head gives a performance of a lifetime, his delivery of dialogue is bat-shit crazy but enthralling at the same time. It's No Country For Old Men Javier Bardem level good. Meg Foster as Venus Virgo is a character that only someone with Meg's experience can play. She has a natural look that is so beautifully captivating I could talk about it for hours. Elizabeth Daily plays Sex-Head and even though the role is minor, it is one of the most essential characters to the plot. Finally everyone's favorite Sheri Moon Zombie. She is beautiful, talented and with each film she get better and more attractive. I believer her to be the female version of Dorian Gray with flawless acting ability. Sheri shines here as the protagonist and really brings the film full circle.
As for Jeff Daniel Phillips, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Kevin Jackson, Pancho Moler, Lew Temple and Malcolm McDowell they are no less important or amazing in their roles. Everyone does amazing in their roles and without each actor the film would not have came together so nicely.
The art and setup of the 31 gauntlet is just as important as the actors. Each level features rooms that showcase each clowns personality and gives you some insight to their masochistic ways. The art and colors of each scene pop in a way that contrasts the bleakness of the maze perfectly. Visually this is a thing of beauty.
The score and soundtrack are amazing, Zombie and John 5 seem to have this down to a science. The way they use the music to height or build each scene is borderline brilliant.
31 is a must see, if you enjoyed Devil's Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses then this is right up your alley. It is a return to the slasher genre that we have badly needed but seem to be denied year after year.
Rich Stile Follow @thedevilseyes1