Unearthed = Unscary.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 05/22/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Unearthed (Matthew Leutwyler, 2007)
There was a time when I would have said that the great Russell Means lent a little class to every movie in which he appears. That time, unfortunately, has now passed forever with Unearthed, the latest outing for Dead and Breakfast director Matthew Leutwyler. Now, this is not Russell Means' fault by any stretch of the imagination, but it's depressing to see that he's no longer batting a thousand.
Plot: Annie Flynn (Emanuelle Vaugier), an alcoholic sheriff in a small southwestern town, is going to be forced out in a week after the town holds a no-confidence election. She's managed to hang onto her job for a year after the incident that caused the town to lose faith in her (and her to lose faith in herself), but everyone's lost patience. So, needless to say, something earth-shattering has to happen in that last week to give herback her confidence and let the town see her as a savior. Of course, that is, if anyone's left in the town by the time the mysterious, seemingly supernatural killer (this isn't a spoiler, we see what's happening in the opening scene; the only suspense there is what it is) is through eating its way through them.
As is usually the case with films picked up by the guys who run the After Dark Horrorfest, this wasn't actually a movie that was too scary for theaters; it's a movie that was so mediocre, even by the standards of the crap Hollywood's been churning out and calling "horror" for the past decade or so, that no studio would pick it up for distribution. Unearthed stands apart from the usual Horrorfest fare in that there's actually some starpower to be found here; former model Vaugier has recently been taking a turn on TV's CSI:NY, while male lead Luke Goss should be familiar from Blade II. But it's the supporting cast who'll really wow you--aside from the great Means, you've also got M. C. Gainey, Beau Garrett, Whitney Able, and other folks who, if their names don't look familiar, their faces will. Shouldn't surprise you, then, that the acting is above average for a Horrorfest outing. Problem is, the acting isn't enough to carry the ridiculous script, which combines the worst parts of seven or eight Sci-Fi Channel Original Movies without taking any of the good from them. (See how much this movie has addled my brain? I'm conceding there may be something good in Sci-Fi Channel Original Movies.) Given a few original twists, or Leutwyler allowing someone better to write the script, this might have been a good movie. Of course, had that happened, it wouldn't have been a Horrorfest movie. Sometimes, you really can judge a movie by its cover (and its distribution company). *