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Black Rock


This ‘Rock’ is semisolid.

Rod Lott July 22nd, 2013

Strangely, Katie Aselton of TV's extraordinarily funny The League is better at crafting thrillers than comedies. Her directorial debut, 2010's The Freebie, was insufferable mumblecore. Black Rock finds her taking a headlong leap into suspense, and while it's so-so, growth is growth.

blackrock

Like a gender-reversed Deliverance, three friends (Straw Dogs' Kate Bosworth, Childrens Hospital's Lake Bell and Aselton) motorboat to the titular isle for a gals-only camping trip. When three hunters cross their path, Abby (Aselton) spontaneously invites them to share their campfire and liquor. The guys accept, but after the very married Abby gets very drunk and then very flirty ... well, let's just say they have a very bad day at Black Rock.

The film then kicks firmly into thriller gear. Black Rock is written by Aselton’s husband and fellow League member Mark Duplass (Safety Not Guaranteed). Like his other scripts, this genre exercise carries the feeling of a solid first draft. That's partly because he allows for improvisation, which shows most in the dialogue, for both good and ill.

As an actress, Aselton is not believable enough as required by the climactic confrontation; as a director, she brings it, even if she makes the baffling move of giving her girl-power characters an elongated nude scene. —Rod Lott

Hey! Read This:
Childrens Hospital: The Complete Fourth Season DVD review     
The League: The Complete Season Two Blu-ray review    
Safety Not Guaranteed Blu-ray review      



 
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