In "Black Rock," a female-fueled thriller, Sarah (Kate Bosworth) wants to make amends with two childhood friends by pitching a tent with them on a small Maine island where the three women once camped as kids. "We are all dying," Sarah tells Lou (Lake Bell) and Abby (Katie Aselton), and she's right: Life is short, and it's about to get shorter.
After a trio of dishonorably discharged vets crashes the women's campfire and a drunken hookup goes deathly awry, it's girls-versus-boys to see which gender will survive. Under the circumstances, that makes Abby's refusal to forgive Lou for sleeping with her ex-boyfriend seem silly, though not as silly as the film's bluff that in 24 hours, these Star magazine-loving ladies will become angry, naked nymphs who whittle their own spears.
Writer-director-star Aselton (whose 2010 Sundance film "The Freebie" is a must-watch) faces a crucial and complicated rape scene head-on, and the violence is realistically clumsy. But she clearly loses interest when the script shifts from drama to horror. And her disregard for her male characters causes "Black Rock" to spiral into dudette "Deliverance" — PTSD outreach groups will be as outraged by her military villains as toothless banjo players were by John Boorman's 1972 film.
Aselton, you sure have a purty mouth, but what are you trying to say?
"Black Rock." Rated R for some strong violence, pervasive language, sexual references and brief graphic nudity. Running time: 1 hour, 23 minutes. Playing in limited release.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times