Fresh off a purportedly successful festival run, James Eaves’ Bane (2009) is an unfocused, inexcusably poor horror movie that fails to raise even a single hair or goosebump throughout its tedious and overextended two hour duration. Centring around four women entrapped in a cell – all having completely lost their memories – our female protagonists soon discover themselves to be victims of a violent experiment that has, much like the script, seemingly no practical purpose.
The film’s startling lack of originality is forgiveable; this is supposed to be horror after all, we’re more than accustomed to rinse and repeat formulas here. Instead, Bane’s crime is in its gross incompetence in the art of both film making and storytelling. Scenes in which the women are freaking out, trying to convey their fear to one another, are boring beyond description and ultimately counteractive towards producing any real horror.
These frequent, dialogue-heavy moments in which none of the characters are really saying anything, alongside their disgustingly overt theatre company style of acting, make it impossible to care for them. Which would be fine if they were just there to be inventively picked off one after another, you know, like in a horror film. Instead, writer/director Eaves has seemingly sort to blend psychological thriller with torture porn, and emerged with something that fails to deliver any of the satisfaction that may be found in either camp.
The characters remain as flat and pathetic as the Bane’s laughable set design; every room being constructed out of strongly backlit, thin metal fences covered in large plastic sheets, that when touched make you bleed and the room flood red – hardly a credible palate in which to evoke any kind of psychological thrills.
If only a bunch of 13-year-olds really had been given the opportunity and the resources to pen and produce Bane, one suspect that a tighter, more engaging and, most importantly, actually frightening film may have spluttered through the plastic covered fences.