Jamie Blanks (Urban Legend) hasn’t made a feature film since 2001’s Valentine, a film that arguable wasn’t very good. Some would argue the merits of Urban Legend as well, but you have to admit that at the time, it was probably more original than the rest of the dreck that is coming out these days. Blanks’ latest film, Storm Warning is more of a High Tension than it is a Hostel, so it gets higher marks than some mindless slasher film, even though at times it does delve into the realm of gory murder.
An Australian couple go out on a boat for a little fishing, only to get lost in the back-water canals when a storm comes in. Looking for shelter and a phone, they find a house that seems to be abandoned, only to discover that there is a large crop of marijuana being cultivated in the garage. Three men (one father, and two grown sons) come back, and finding the couple having broken in to their home, react as one would expect. Things seem okay at first, once the situation has been explained to them, but when it becomes evident that the marijuana garden was seen, they can’t just let the couple leave. Feigning hospitality, the brothers end up trapping the couple in the barn – but will they be able to escape?
Shot on HD, and on an extremely low budget, this film is more about tension and suspense than anything else. The house in which the brothers and father live is disgusting, dirty and sloppy. They’re basically super rednecks, and instill an immediate sense of unease with the audience. They force the couple to do things (such as kill a baby kangaroo for dinner), but the resourceful wife decides to take matters into her own hands, and works out a trap for them. There are some funny moments in the film (definitely dark humor), and as expected, a few gross-out moments as well. The music was done by Blanks himself, and it has some grooves and rhythms that work well setting the mood, and the climactic scene has some big action music going on.
Storm Warning doesn’t re-invent the genre; it doesn’t even break new ground. But it does provide laughs, thrills, and tension, and was overall entertaining. But if you don’t like horror, then it’s not for you. But it’s worth it, just for the scene with the horse.