Matt Lavender’s review published on Letterboxd:
My favourite hack Renny Harlin dishes up some shit before leaving for the Dyatlov Pass.
As my friend pointed out: LL Cool J? Val Kilmer? Christian Slater? IN THE SAME MOVIE
Also the dude who wrote Running Scared wrote it so fuck yeah.
Lots of water at the start, I think someone drowned. Christian Slater is a cop. He and his partner Sarah drive through this place that looks like fucking Silent Hill. They go to a spooky old house to ask about a murder or some shit I guess. Stock scream sound effects and they burst into the house. Find some dead kids in a bath tub and Sarah gets killed. Don't worry though, it's just a training exercise. I will genuinely never get tired of that trope, love it.
Val Kilmer eats some cake and bitches at Slater and Sarah for being shit on the training exercise.
So the gist is a bunch of criminal profilers are sent to a shitty island to do a final training exercise. Someone starts picking them off one by one, who could it be? Who the fuck could it be!?
The island is pretty cool, set up like a fake town for various training scenarios. Also a bunch of cats (doesn't end well for one of them I'm afraid) are wandering around. A desolate town, loads of cats, barely any people? Sounds like paradise. Too many bugs and creepy mannequins though.
As they're all profilers they do that dumb Sherlock deduction bullshit. There's basic characterisation, it looks like a movie, not too straight to video low rent. Mostly everyone does a decent B movie acting job. Latino girl and grumpy wheelchair man are pretty weak. Christian Slater in particular seems delighted that he's in a movie.
Lots of little things get set up at the start, you think those fucking nitrogen tanks aren't coming back? Of course there's a Rubik's Cube solving scene and cheesy shower sex scene.
There are some fucking atrocious lines and attempts at humour. A Rube Goldberg machine ends in a fucking outrageously dumb brutal death. After that the pace picks up. Shit explodes, people turn on each other and die.
It makes a huge mistake early on with one of the characters, never really recovers. It's dopey nonsense but it's a good pulp thriller. All the deaths are mental and it just gets weirder and stupider as it goes along. There are some cool little set pieces though, the absolute stand out involves an electrified floor in a tight corridor and LL Cool J Spidermaning his way along the walls to find a circuit breaker. Plus there's a fucking left field Croatan mystery reference. Can't argue with that.