mara e' una giovane e bella ragazza che un giorno decide di andare a fare un viaggio a rogue river, una isolata localita' nel mezzo della natura. la sua macchina pero' si guasta in mezzo al nulla e, priva di mezzi di comunicazione, mossa dalla disperazione decide di accettare l'invito di un cordiale individuo intenzionato a ospitarla per la notte nella sua baita. rimpiangera' per sempre la sua decisione quando l'uomo si rivelera' un sadico sanguinario che la sottoporra' alle piu' indicibili torture...
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Mara (played by Michelle Page) and her brother Andrew (Chris Coy) recently lost their father. Seeking to scatter his ashes at someplace that would have personal meaning, she travels out to the remote Rogue River, but, before she can complete the deed, a kind stranger named Jon (Bill Moseley) warns her that she'd be breaking a local ordinance. Heading back to her car, she realizes it's been towed away (or has it?), and she takes a ride from Peter back to his place. Before she knows what's happened, Mara finds herself trapped in a house of insanity, fighting for her life against Peter and his sister's (Lea, as played by Lucinda Jenney) savage behaviors.
ROGUE RIVER has a lot of elements that should've made it a better film than what director Jourdan McClure managed to put together; however, the script - tackled by Ryan Finnerty and Kevin Haskin - misses the mark by never clearly underscoring why the brother and sister couple are doing any of the crazy things they do. There are hints toward the cause of the nefariousness, but it's never truly hammered home ... not hard enough for my tastes. Without spoiling it too much, Lea's dying of cancer, and she's apparently bent on having a child of her own (???), and since Peter's lost his wife and daughter earlier the two join forces to concoct their own happy little family from the strangers they can abduct. Well, the problem with that is, "Why treat the source for the villainy as an afterthought?" There are WAY too many things here that don't make sense - several of which I can't divulge without giving away plot surprises that defy logic - so the end result is ROGUE RIVER flows more like a dried up creek bed than it does a gentle spring.
On a bitter note, character actor Michael Cudlitz is absolutely wasted in an all-too-brief cameo-style appearance as a local sheriff who suffers the fate most local sheriffs suffer in films of this nature.
You can thank the people at Vision Entertainment Group and Kejo Productions, LLC for ROGUE RIVER. It looks and sounds about as well as any quickie independent horror flick could, should, or would though some of the `mike' work left a lot to be desired. The performances are what you can expect from this type of film: inspired to the point of screaming, but there's very little genuine menace. The disc comes with some surprisingly lengthy features from behind-the-scenes process, along with trailers and a commentary brought to you by the cast and crew.
RECOMMENDED only for diehard fans of "torture porn" horror flicks because there's really very little else available here. I've seen far worse examples of "torture porn" that have had far more story, and that's what's missing here: a central villain with an actual reason or suitable backstory for doing at least half of what he does would've given the script a chance to be more than yet another excuse to terrorize some young lass.
In the interests of fairness, the fine folks at Lionsgate provided me with a DVD screener copy of ROGUE RIVER for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
'Rogue River' concerns a young lady named Mara, who decides to spread her father's ashes along the river that they used to visit together when she was a child. She makes the long journey, finally arrives at the riverbank, and holds back tears as she opens the urn, preparing to dump the ashes. However, she is rudely interrupted by a man named Jon, who warns her that she may need a permit in order to leave the ashes. Slightly annoyed at first, Mara eventually carries on a conversation with the awkward Jon. Upon leaving the riverbank with Jon nearby, she finds that her car has been stolen. Jon offers a ride back to town, noting that he needs to stop at his place first. She accepts, and the two head far out of town to Jon's house.
Once they arrive at Jon's house, Mara is introduced to Jon's "wife", a frumpy, excitable woman who just so happens to be a terrible cook. They convince Mara to stay the night, and once again, she accepts the offer. As the film goes on, she will come to regret that decision.
Jon and his "wife" aren't at all who they seem. They drag Mara into an abyss of torture and incest, which leaves her permanently scarred and pregnant near the conclusion of the film. Quite simply, 'Rogue River' is a totally incompetent, depraved, and torturous attempt at filmmaking from everyone involved.
A Z-grade disaster made by and for the lowest common denominator.
Starring Michelle Page and Bill Moseley, Directed by Jourdan McClure.
Rated R. 83 minutes. Released by Lions Gate.
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