A group of graduation students have a party at a secret location.
When two of their group are killed, the others think someone
has come in from the outside. However, the doors are locked
from the inside, effectively blocking their escape, and all
of the keys are missing. Increasingly desperate and bickering
amongst themselves, the rapidly decreasing number of survivors
seek another way out...
"Move away please, there's nothing to be seen here." That
might be the only cliched line which doesn't turn up in the
movie, but it pretty much sums up what's on offer. The
Pool is a teen slasher flick played strictly by the numbers.
apparent revelations have been seen a hundred times before.
The discovery that the killer is one of their group (gasp!
no, can it be true?). The way that each person is easily dispatched
with a quick hack of a blade, but the last one proves difficult,
even though she trips up every few seconds. How the protagonist
has a phobia of water which stems from her childhood... Oh,
please! The need for the killer to reveal himself near the
conclusion, and to justify his nefarious actions; which in
this case are because he felt isolated from the others and
had had his proposition turned down by one of the women. Judging
by that reasoning, isn't it a wonder half the male population
aren't weapon-wielding psychos? Er, don't answer that one,
perpetrator appears in Eddie Kidd's old black motorcycle leathers,
and a mask which looks suspiciously like that of Todd MacFarlane's
Spawn character. How he gets in and out of such close-fitting
garments so quickly is beyond me. The weapon of choice is
a machete, obviously borrowed from his mate Jason Vorhees.
The old police detective is a cross between the dishevelled
Columbo and the caretaker of the abandoned amusement park
in the Scooby-Doo cartoons. He even goes around muttering
about kids, but he doesn't use the word Pesky.
the film with hip rock music ala Buffy just doesn't
work here either. The complete sound mix ranges between whisper-quiet
dialogue and Spinal Tap-esque volume 11 screeching.
lay down a few ground rules here. John Carpenter's Halloween
was the grand old master of slasher movies. When you thought
Michael Myers was dead and he got up again it hadn't been
seen before. Now nobody stays dead. The Friday the 13th
films work because Jason went beyond being a vengeful human,
and became an unstoppable killing machine. Scream was
successful because it poked a bit of fun at itself and the
genre. Scary Movie parodied the parody. Barring Chucky
and Freddy perhaps, you can dismiss the majority of the hundreds
of movies which have borrowed from these formats.
the end of The Pool the defeated killer bursts Jason-like
from the water and I didn't even make the effort to laugh.
When the key character says to her boyfriend, "I know what
you did last Summer", was the director telling us that this
was all supposed to be a little bit tongue-in-cheek?
Nah, I think not. It's just a corny line.