05/18/2019 12:46

Film: Cornered!

Year: 2009

Director: Daniel Maze

Writer: Darrin Grimwood

Starring: Steve Guttenberg, James Duval and Liz Nicole Abrams



This was another film that I added to my Netflix list back in college and just now got around to seeing it. I thought the look of the cover was good and was interested to see what this film was all about. I pretty much came in blind, which is one of my preferred ways of coming in if you know me. The synopsis is during their nightly poker game, a group of lowlifes are terrorized in their own convenience store by a masked killer.

We start this one off learning about a serial killer who attacks convenience stores. We know that he takes the security footage and that he has done this quite a few times. There are no real leads and the reward is now up to half a million dollars to catch this guy.

It then shifts to a crappy convenience store that is owned by Steve (Eduardo Antonio Garcia). He sits upstairs watching the security cameras and keeps track of items that his regulars take to dock them. He is also trying to sell the place as it is struggling.

Running the front desk is a junkie Jimmy (James Duval). He is actually the nephew of Steve and he supposedly just returned from a trip to Hawaii. Another worker is Donny (Peter Story). He has a weight problem and they call him Donny Doughnut. A banned customer comes into the story and there is a tussle when we see he’s trying to steal a bottle of alcohol. This causes him and Donny to go through the door, shattering the glass.

Outside we meet Jess (Liz Nicole Abrams), who is a local prostitute that Donny has a thing for. Also hanging out at the story is Mona who uses her cellphone as a sex line. A delivery man shows up, Morty (Steve Guttenbeg). This group talks about what they’d do if came in contact with the killer. There’s a man listening to them a couple aisles away and he knocks over stuff and runs out the backdoor.

That night they go up to play poker. The regulars are Jimmy, Donny, Steve and Mona. Donny convinces Jess to play and Jimmy needs a fix, but his uncle throws his phone out the window. Things take quite a turn when the killer shows up and picks off those upstairs in some interesting ways.

Now I do have to say, this is an interesting slasher. The film doesn’t really state that if all of the convenience stores this killer hits are full of some unlikeable characters or not, but I do like the idea of blurring the lines of who you should root for. I do want to say that not all of them are horrible, but they aren’t pristine by any stretch.

With that out of the way, I actually liked the angle of who the killer was. I did find it a bit predictable. I thought I might have been wrong for all of 15 seconds before the film ends up confirming it, so that does hurt the film for me a bit. I also thought it was creative how the deaths were done. I don’t really want to spoil it, but I will say they are interesting for a slasher film in my opinion.

The film though does have its flaws. Being that the poker game is upstairs from the store, we actually have a way to keep them safe until a few of them are killed off. The film though is a bit boring unfortunately. In a film like this, the characters aren’t interesting enough to keep the kills off as long as they do. There are quite a few deaths in the film, which I liked. The characters are distinct, but they just aren’t people that I cared enough for. I think that actually helps make films like this more impactful. I did find the ending to be interesting a bit out of the norm I would say as well.

Moving to the acting of the film, I didn’t think it was bad. Guttenberg plays such a quirky character, which he made his hay doing back in the 80’s. He isn’t in the film all that much though. Duval I thought was good as the junkie. He just has that look about him and I actually felt bad. He is going through withdrawals and his uncle is pretty mean to him. He does have an interesting turn in his character. Abrams I found to be attractive. She is one I felt bad for in that she feels all she can do to make ends meet is prostitution. She was fine in her portrayal though. Story was fine, but he got on my nerves. I personally bored and nervous eat, but I don’t think he would do as much with the love of his life there. He was fine outside of that. Garcia is such a jerk I liked his fate. English is interesting in her job, but I think it was a joke they played out too much. The rest of the cast I thought was fine and rounded out the film for what was needed.

Something that really surprised me with this one was the effects of the film. They actually did some that were quite interesting, which I liked. Going even farther though, they looked to be done practical. The blood looked good to me as well as the rest of the gore. A slasher film like this really needs to showcase this, as they normally lack in the story and I do think they did well here. The film was shot fine also.

Now with that said, I did find this film to be entertaining, but it does have quite a bit of issues. I think that there is an interesting concept to it. The problem with going with a cast of somewhat unlikeable characters is that I don’t really care what happens to them. The story isn’t good enough to take as long to get into the killings as it did. I like the reveal of the killer, but I’m not a fan that I guessed it pretty early on. I did like his look though which I thought was good. The acting was fine. The effects to be honest were above average and it was shot well. The soundtrack of the film didn’t stand out or hurt the film. I think overall I’m coming in that this film was average, which is a shame, because with a few tweaks it could be good.


My Rating: 5 out of 10