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'Muck' a glib and hollow attempt at horror

'Muck' is mired in '90s meta-horror cliches. See it at your own peril

Emerging from the briny swamps of Cape Cod, Mass., five carnal and scantily clad young friends break into a vacation home seeking refuge after two of their peers have met an untimely fate and another has been badly hurt. "Muck" doesn't explain what has transpired, but danger lurks.

A passel of albino musclemen is apparently on a killing spree, mercilessly hacking topless buxom luminaries like a former playmate of the year and two former Miss Cape Cod titleholders. The film sheds no light on how the "creepers" came to be, and their prey certainly couldn't care less.

Noah (Bryce Draper) seeks help. But on reaching civilization, he nonchalantly cleans up in a restroom and orders a couple of tequila shots before finally borrowing a cellphone. Inexplicably, he dials his cousin Troit (Lachlan Buchanan) instead of 911.

Seemingly inspired by the 1990s meta-horrors from the likes of Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson, writer-director Steve Wolsh sets the film in the fictional West Craven (har har) and early on has the badly injured Billy (Grant Alan Ouzts) spell out the clichés to be played out. One can't tell which Wolsh enjoys more: ogling naked women or witnessing their gruesome deaths.

Rather than evincing any expertise or affinity for the genre, Wolsh's effort seems glib and hollow. Troit charms his Hindu gal pal, Chandi (Puja Mohindra), with aggression and casual racism with lines like, "You're a terrorist and you hate Christmas." It's not ironic, amusing or clever.

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"Muck"

MPAA rating: None 

Running time: 1 hour, 38 minutes.

Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood. Also on VOD.

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