Monday, May 10, 2010
King of The Lost World Review
I’m not used to reviewing a lot of SyFy channel exclusives. In fact, the last time I tried to watch a made for TV or straight to dvd movie from the channel, it was for the short-lived movie club portion of this site. It wasn’t exactly a rousing success, but I managed to get a few people involved.
Well, this time around I had no other option but to watch a SyFy original, and I didn’t find it nearly as bad as I did “Ice Spiders”. Don’t get me wrong, this film is not great, and in a lot of spots not good, but it manages to have some interesting points.
The main plot of King of the Lost World is much like the show “Lost” at least in that there is a plane crash, on a mysterious Island, a man that knows how to diffuse a bomb, carries a gun, and isn’t saying a whole lot, and a group of strangers that must form a bond to move forward.
If being stranded on an island wasn’t enough, the fact that there are man-eating Spiders, King Kong (look alike), and other baddies out there, makes the premise somewhat more palatable.
The first thing you’ll notice about this film is all the stock footage that you get. This film has a great deal of stock “island” footage, and at moments looks amazing, but more often then not looks like a cheap travel video, begging for a voice over. While I appreciate the nuances, the fly-bys wear thin when the film progresses to what is obviously green screen, and closed sets. If they are on location, they did a terrible job trying to showcase that notion, and most often it just looks like a two or three room panel.
The acting isn’t half bad. Sure there are some stupid moments, but there are some professionals involved and I didn’t hate the acting, even if it seemed forced whenever there was a monster on screen.
The characters are all stereotypical. You have the young teen, the big foreheaded actress that falls in love with one of the characters, or just has one of those “we’re going to die” moments. The tough guy, the loner, the old man, the former military guy, and the disposable characters that are killed, oh, and there’s the mysterious guy that knows too much for his own good and is most likely in on it.
The pacing is slow. It’s tense, but slow. You kind of want to just see what happens next, but at some points you just want to fast forward and get this over with. It forces you to follow along, on rails, and really doesn’t do much in the way of moving the suspense.
Much like most horror films, this film has the crew being eaten one by one. The island seems to be the villain, until the third act reveal of a traitor amongst them. There is no major gore, although there was a sick spider cocoon killing that had one character reaching into skeletal goo, which was kind of a neat effect. Most often then not, there’s nothing more than a trickle of blood, if anything.
Is King of The Lost World A Scary Film: No.
Despite the weirdos on the island entrapping people, the prehistoric sized monsters, and the predictable story, this movie is NOT scary at all. In fact, if it was meant to be scary or sci-fi in any sense of the tradition, it fails miserably. Sure, on paper this movie sounds like a gem, and admittedly, the synopsis made me curious, but it’s low budget effects, mysterious plotting, and lackluster effects really make this movie a hazard.
I do not recommend King of the Lost World, unless you want modern day B-Movie punishment. It’s not even B movie; it’s more like C or D movie. I’ve seen worse, I’ve seen better, and this falls somewhere between the two.