Sunday, 7 July 2013
Salvage is an excellent British horror movie which marks the directorial debut of Lawrence Gough. The movie is actually filmed on the set of long defunct British soap opera Brookside, and it excels in it's use of confusion, paranoia, panic and ambiguity. From the admittedly slow but gripping opening, the movie places you in the middle of a family drama, and then introduces horrific elements, slowly building them up to a shocking, surprising and depressing end.
It is Christmas eve, and a father is taking his teenage daughter to spend the holiday with her mother. The girl finds her mother in bed with another man, so storms across to a neighbors house. Before her mother can make amends, the area is sealed off by a group of heavily armed military personnel who are apparently searching for the missing cargo from a ship which has run ashore on a nearby beach. With no information being given, and the bodies piling up, the mother teams up with her one night stand to try and rescue her daughter and escape the madness and violence which has overcome her once peaceful area of living.
The thing that hits you first about this movie is that it gives absolutely nothing away. The characters and the viewers are kept in the dark about the events that are unfolding. The way the movie makes it's way from building unease to inexplicable violence and chaos really takes the viewer on an emotional roller coaster, and it really does grip you from the start.
For the first two thirds of the movie, tension is what the viewer will feel the most, and you really do find yourself gripped with fear and anticipation at finding out exactly what is going on. The last third of the movie is pure survival horror, ratcheting everything up tenfold, and introducing something you never would have imagined.
Along the way, there is plenty of violence, and it is always a shock. The characters are very well developed, and you really feel for the mother, who just wants to set things right with her daughter, and even though she may not have been there for her daughter until now, she certainly proves herself.
As mentioned before, the ending is incredibly downbeat, and is a suitable end to a movie that will have you on the edge of your seat all of the way through. The atmosphere is suffocating, and the paranoia and panic of the situation really play well into the movie. If you don't like movies that don't get to the blood and gore right away, and have a slow and involving build up, then Salvage may not be for you. But if you are willing to invest your time in something a little different, then give Salvage a watch, and get ready for one hell of a ride.