No One Lives

I don’t think I’ve ever seen quite as… efficient a serial killer as Luke Evans in No One Lives, an absolutely mental, ruthlessly gory, completely unhinged shocker with enough torque in its hood to short circuit your TV. It’s one of those stories where a group of very bad people accidentally enter the orbit of someone much, much worse and live to deeply regret being so careless. In this case the bad people are a roving gang of backwater criminals led by Lee Tergesen, but they’re not a biker gang or anything specific they’re just like… a gang, like the Warriors or something which I found hilarious for some reason. Anyway they unwittingly piss off Luke Evans’s seemingly benign ‘Driver’, who turns out to be an impossibly cunning, deviously psychotic and *very* experienced mass murderer and he has now decided that they are all gonna die. Every. Last. One. It’s not so much a game of survival as it is a total massacre of fish in barrel and we see him dispatch them all in some truly unsettling and bloody ways that involve everything from an industrial wood shredder (it’s not a wood ‘chipper’, the only applicable description of this fucking giant thing is ‘shredder’) to a lethal harpoon gun pulley system to a grisly variation on the ‘Leo hiding in a horse carcass’ moment from The Revenant. Amidst the mayhem and splatter the film even finds time for some genuinely twisted victim/aggressor psychology involving a former captive of his played by the lovely and always slightly unnerving Adelaide Clemens, who comes across like a shellshocked Michelle Williams. The two have a perverse, Stockholm Syndrome laced former dynamic that is eerie and very well acted by both. Evans usually shows up in polished, rollicking Hollywood high budget fantasy and whatnot but it’s very refreshing to see him roll up his sleeves and dive headlong into something knowingly lurid and deliriously pulpy, he has a ton of fun as basically the Jason Bourne of serial killers and I could totally see the character returning for a sequel or two. It’s decidedly lo-fi, B horror stuff and very in your face gruesome but Japanese director Ryûhei Kitamura keeps the momentum surging at a breathless pace, the gore and action nearly nonstop and the schlocky, Midnite tone evenly dispersed throughout for a wicked wild ride.

-Nate Hill

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