In my Wyvern review I mentioned how much I wanted to see more dragon-themed horror movies, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to have stumbled across this film. You can also imagine how heartbroken I was to find that this film utterly blows.
Starting with compliments, or at least as close as I can get to compliments, the premise is great. It may not be the most original thing on Earth, but it’s a solid foundation for a dragon horror movie. However, the premise feels underutilized. The idea of sending an elite team out into the mountains to capture a creature that just happens to be a dragon sounds so cool, but it feels like that’s not really what happens in this movie. The team makes one excursion into the mountains, then most of the movie they’re basically hanging around a house waiting to die. They end up back in the mountains towards the end, but by that point you can’t really enjoy it, because it just serves as a bitter reminder of how cool this movie could have been.
The setting is absolutely beautiful, every shot where they’re outdoors looks spectacular. Well, almost every shot. Sometimes, there’s a really terrible CGI dragon clogging up the frame. The gorgeous setting almost ends up working to the film’s detriment by making the CGI look that much worse by comparison.
There are so many scenes in this film where people are just standing around and talking. It makes the movie feel so static and stagnant. It would’ve helped so much if the characters just moved around a little bit more. For instance, if certain characters had been walking and talking rather than walking, stopping to have a conversation, then walking again. Just keep walking! Move around the room a little. Do something, please. It’s not necessary in every scene, but there’s so little action in this film that still moments can’t really be appreciated.
The dialogue in this movie isn’t great either. There are bits that feel like obvious exposition dumping, bits that feel redundant, and almost all of it sounds stilted and wrong. There are multiple scenes where the main characters are interacting and I still feel like I know nothing about them. Are these people military, mercenaries, or what? Why is Libby so distrusting? Why would Nessa and/or Libby blame themselves for… wait, what happened to Lexy? And what’s up with Stuart and Nicolle? They seem close, did they know each other before the mission? Were they in on the plot twist?
Speaking of the plot twist, it’s bad. It could have worked if the rest of the movie was better, but as-is it’s just a very blunt, in-your-face reminder of how much nothing has happened in the film so far.
And oh my goodness, these people are way too comfortable with radiation! Look, I was willing to buy into the whole potassium iodide thing when it was just the threat of potentially lingering nuclear radiation, but then they started touching radioactive objects with their bare hands, picking them up, taking them back to base. Occasionally the characters wear gloves, but otherwise there’s no protective equipment in sight, and in the few instances where characters try to ask “uh, this seems kinda dangerous?” someone else just responds with “just take your pills, it’s fine.”
I’m not an expert on radiation, by any means, but that just doesn’t seem right? So I tried to Google some stuff. According to the CDC, potassium iodide only protects your thyroid and not any other part of your body (like your skin) from radiation, and only protects you from radioactive iodine, and no other radioactive elements. In fact, if you take potassium iodide when radioactive iodide is not present it can actually hurt you.
Ultimately, you can say that this stuff doesn’t matter, suspension of disbelief, et cetera, but if your film is so unengaging that I’d rather pause it and take 10 minutes trying to figure out how the hell radiation works, that’s a problem.
This movie, unfortunately, sucks. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen but that’s not really saying much. I’m not mad at it, I’m just disappointed. It gets two out of five cthulhus. If you still want to watch this you can check it out on Amazon, but remember that we are an Amazon affiliate and if you make any purchases from the links provided we will get some $ back.(2 / 5)