Lane Toran’s Getaway (or Getaway Girls according to IMDB) is a film that has been made a thousand times before and most likely will be made again. For that reason, this forgettable film will likely get lost in the shuffle of all the other vacation gone awry movies out there...
...Getaway tells the tale of Tamara (Jacelyn Betham) who plans a girl’s trip to a nearby lake with her two best friends Brooke (Landry Allbright) and Maddy (Scout Taylor-Compton). However, a sinister local family nearby has very different plans for the trio’s vacation.
The family in question is led by the patriarch “Pa”, played by Lane Caudell. They have been kidnapping “Angels” and sending them to heaven. Their latest victim is Tamara, whom Pa’s boys met when she broke down en-route to meet her friends. Now Tamara must escape the clutches of this deranged brood and find out what happened to her friends. There is a twist late in the film that makes no sense, but it won’t be spoiled in this review.
Let’s get this out of the way-while the inspiration of independent slasher classics is clear, this film is no Texas Chainsaw Massacre, not by a long shot. One wishes this movie could have tried to take itself a little more seriously.
For starters, Lane Caudell (Pa) is the only family member that actually seems like he is part of a deranged cult that preys on girls (they call them angels) and sends them to heaven by murdering them. The other two family members, Merv (Lane Toran) and Kib (Noah Lowdermilk) seem more like hipsters you would find at the Thirsty Crow on Sunset Blvd in good old L.A. That is because that’s exactly what they are. This reviewer is readily prepared to call the brothers "hipsters" because he has a beard and dresses similar to the “red-neck” brothers, whose skinny jeans and perfect hair makes no sense in this film. It would work a lot better if you didn’t see the gauged ears from Kib, or the perfectly shaven and styled beard of Merv. It reads as if, to save money, they cast themselves and their friend, which is admirable- but does nothing to motivate the belief that these characters do the heinous acts or believe in the same cultish views as their father. Let alone that they are “workers” from God who are destined to set free lost female souls through violence and death.
However, Pa has many creepy scenes - including one where he uses his victim’s hair to masturbate. It is especially unnerving as he does this looking at a cross hanging on his wall. That being said, moments like that are left to amount to nothing because there isn’t even an attempt to explain the “city” look of the sons, much to the film's detriment. It would have been easy to give a five-minute explanation that they left the styx and returned to follow in their father’s footsteps. A little more thought being put into the details like that might have made for more believability which this film needs to have, as the script and camera work just don’t make a viewer want to sit through it. This is especially emphasized by two-thirds of the villains acting like they are pretending to be someone they are not, ensuring any weight or substance the story reaches for is lost in translation.
The biggest mistake the film makes is its underutilization of Scout Taylor-Compton, who at this point, should be a staple name in the horror world. After her star-making turn years ago as Laurie Strode in Rob Zombie’s Halloween flicks (say what you will about those films, this reviewer loves them), Getaway doesn’t do her any service. Despite leaning heavily on her name recognition for marketing purposes, she has a total of about 15 minutes of screen time and it is a terrible shame. Even when the movie’s major twist happens, Compton is still sort of just there and the film suffers for it.
One wonders what the film would be like if Taylor-Compton played Tamara instead of Betham, not that Tamara is played poorly, but when the twist comes, Betham just doesn’t have the chops to sell it. The turn attempts to put a feminist spin on this story, one that isolated from the rest of the film works but has been better executed in other movies. That is Getaway’s biggest problem, every scene is done better in a different film. It’s an unfortunate attempt, and as this reviewer has stated before it takes a lot to make a film, and anyone who does get a finished product should be proud of the work they have done. However, if you’re looking for a new slasher worth watching right now, this reviewer would advise you to stay away from Getaway.
Getaway is available through Uncork'd Entertainment on DVD/VOD starting April 14th.
By Justin Drabek
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