Tuesday, April 16, 2013

PAURA 3D (2012) movie review

Paura 3D (2012) d. Manetti, Antonio / Manetti, Marco (Italy)

Three juvenile pals (Claudio Di Biagio, Domenico Diele, Lorenzo Pedrotti) learn that local rich muckity muck Peppe Servillo is going to be out of town for the weekend, leaving his palatial country home unsupervised. Seeing a perfect party locale opportunity, the trio head to the hills and through the locked gates to splash about in the fat cat’s pool, guzzle his champagne, ogle his prized vintage guitar collection and use the massive flat screen telly to jam out on Rock Band. (Wait, what? Rock Band???) Things take a predictably turn for the nasty when Pedrotti’s sensitive lad discovers fair damsel Francesca Cuttica chained up in the basement in undressed distress…just around the time Mr. Monopoly Man’s plans fall through and he returns home to discover the interlopers.

While waiting for the extensive visual f/x from last year’s sci-fi/political allegory alien interrogation thriller The Arrival of Wang to be completed, Italy’s Manetti Brothers found themselves with time on their hands and a dandy villa location in which to shoot. The result is a claustrophobic slasher that shoves our faces into some very unpleasant scenarios; since the majority of Paura’s elements are thoroughly derivative, wildly implausible or head shakingly illogical, it is this sheer distastefulness that emerges – for better or worse – as the film’s distinguishing feature.

The good news is that the 3D effects are incredibly well realized on the small budget, especially those set in the shadowy subterranean quarters. Additionally, the performances all serve their respective turns, from Cuttica’s raw nerve Stockholm Syndrome victim to the fun loving lads (each well distinguished without resorting to stereotyping) to Servillo’s intense, creepy aged villain. But a wealth of bad character choices, repetitious padding, and some unfortunate unjustifiable third act behavior by Cuttica, prompt the occasional bout of popcorn hurling.

The Manetti boys have clearly approached the project with a profound love for the genre (perhaps too much so, since the clich├ęs come fast and furious), but one wishes they’d have cut some of the fat and boiled out the plot inconsistencies before serving to company.

--Aaron Christensen, HorrorHound Magazine

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