“No One Lives” is a cheap horror prank that’s ultimately not clever or accomplished enough to sustain its eccentricities, and they are very bloody eccentricities indeed.
A missing heiress (Adelaide Clemens) on the run, a couple of soft-spoken travelers (Luke Evans and Laura Ramsey) taken hostage and a doltish gang of thieves (led by Lee Tergesen) are the pawns in writer David Cohen’s and director Ryuhei Kitamura’s game of trap-maim-and-kill.
Set in the thieves’ swampy off-road hideaway, where a relentless killer has it in for them after they unwittingly interfere with his plans, the movie is little more than an excuse to punish idiocy, crack wise about said idiots and flex a filmmaker’s gross-out skills. There is one cheekily funny bit involving the use of a very large body as a particular kind of mule and a certain grind house joie de vivre does bubble up in spots.
The acting is mostly regrettable, although Evans wisely chooses to underplay his increasingly ludicrous (and overwritten) role, which helps keep the engine running even when it threatens to sputter. Otherwise, this one’s for taste-challenged midnight-movie aficionados only.
“No One Lives.” Rated R for strong bloody violence, disturbing images, pervasive language and some sexuality/nudity. Running time: 1 hour, 26 minutes Playing: AMC Media Center 8, AMC Ontario Mills 30, AMC 30 at the Block, and the Regal Edward Spectrum 21.