Synopsis: Three childhood friends set aside their personal issues and reunite for a girls’ weekend on a remote island off the coast of Maine. One wrong move turns their weekend getaway into a deadly fight for survival
Black Rock could easily be described as a modern Deliverance, in so much as it revolves around a group of friends, this time all female, dealing with their issues by getting back to nature and inadvertently incurring the wrath of some morally questionable locals. However, it is there that, due in the most part to a weak script and poor characterisation, the comparisons with Deliverance end.
Given the team behind Black Rock it is surprising that the script is as weak as it is. Written by Mark Duplass (The League, Jeff Who Lives At Home, Cyrus), his previous work set him out as a quirky indie screenwriter who was able to carve interesting characters into odd situations. So it is strange here then that all three female leads, including his real life wife Katie Aselton who is also on director duties, should feel so two dimensional.
The first act is a collection of tropes and cliches delivered through a series of unremarkable exchanges between Aselton, Bell and Bosworth designed to draw you into them emotionally before their world gets thrown into turmoil. Unfortunately all three are either so dull or unlikeable that I found myself just not caring. Which ultimately made it difficult to feel any tension or dread when they did eventually find themselves on the wrong side of the local hunters.
It’s a shame because there is some promise here. Aselton, Bell and Bosworth are all fine actresses and there is a natural chemistry between the three. Equally the basic premise is strong and simple, playing on the fear of being stranded against a stronger and better equipped enemy. Unfortunately though through weak writing and some soft direction it lacks the execution that the story deserved.
Conclusion: Never the sum of it’s parts given the writing team and cast behind it.
Cast: Katie Aselton, Lake Bell, Kate Bosworth, Jay Paulson