No One Lives (2012)


It’s always some sort of karmic justice when a group of utterly inept killers get what’s coming to them, and director Ryuhei Kitamura delivers not only a comeuppance horror film, but a potentially excellent new horror icon with Luke Evans at the helm. “No One Lives” is that classic comeuppance about a band of moronic and bitter thieves that think they have everything about their operations in check, until their members begin to lose sight of their mission to make money and end up screwing themselves in the process.

Director Ryuhei Kitamura’s horror survival film is a vicious and gory revenge picture that pits a group of inept killers against one of the most deadly horror maniacs ever created. As the Killer, Luke Evans is a horrifying mixture of Rambo, The Punisher, Travis Bickle, and Jigsaw, and literally stops at nothing to strike down the people that literally ruined his night. Hoag and his team of burglars have had a horrible night. After robbing a wealthy couple, they panic by murdering the pair in cold blood and flee back to their hideout. While regrouping at a local restaurant, they come across a seemingly nondescript couple vacationing for the weekend, one of whom is a very passive man. Choosing to cut their losses, they run he and his wife off the road and kidnap them in an effort to garner some ransom money.

Ransacking his car for goods, they’re horrified to discover a young girl that was kidnapped months before is being tucked away in the husband’s trunk. What’s worse is that the husband is not your average Joe. He is indeed a vicious and shockingly resourceful psychopath and survivalist that lives by one code. If you’re unlucky enough to meet and cross him, he will ensure that no one lives. And surely enough Luke Evans takes this character by the balls and creates an incredibly terrifying maniac that is so brilliant, the best option is to surrender and hope for a quick death. When the man known simply as “The Killer” begins striking down the group of moronic criminals with booby traps, and vicious slaughterings, the only person that can seemingly keep them from dying is his hostage Emma. Adelaide Clemens is both adorable and incredible as the traumatized victim of the killer who also garners something of a Stockholm syndrome for the man.

He is hell bent in murdering the band of criminals in the most painful manner possible, all the while trying to re-claim Emma once more. The performances are raucous and downright demented, as America Olivo is a devilishly sexy but vicious femme fatale of the group, while Lindsay Shaw is the street smart and possibly only good individual in the group who has a chance to live. As is the pre-requisite, director Ryuhei Kitamura’s “No One Lives” never shies on the grue and carnage, offering a horror villain very steeped in the hyper violent Asian culture, all the while being capable of adapting and dominating every single piece of land he enters to complete his credo. “No One Lives” is darkly funny, creepy, and just downright spectacular in its ability to douse the screen with red and still unfold a damn fine tale of revenge and karma. I hope we see more of Evans’ killer in the future.

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