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Thursday, September 3, 2020

Review: 30 Miles From Nowhere

Director: Caitlin Koller
Screenplay: Seana Kofoed
Year: 2020

I had previously heard about “30 Miles From Nowhere”, but it never got my attention to try to find and watch it. However, in these past days, Shudder added it to their collection, and with a “what the hell”, I gave it a chance. In advance, I can say that I left the movie with the same indifference that I went in with.

After a long time without seeing each other, a group of friends reunites to attend another friend’s funeral that recently committed suicide. The funeral takes place in a rural part of the United States close to where the deceased used to live, which takes the group of friends to stay in a desolated cabin. Shortly after arriving at the place, they start experiencing a series of events that lead them to think that their friend’s suicide is part of something much more sinister.

One of the first signals about the sort of movie that “30 Miles From Nowhere” is the main characters. Since they are introduced, it is noticeable how boring and uninteresting they all are, which speaks badly about Seana Kofoed’s script, which has some other issues that I will get deeper into later. The acting cannot make much of the poor material with which the cliché and predictable personalities of the main characters are built.

Another problem that pops out of the script, combined with the work of director Caitlin Koller ("Maid of Horror"), is the amount of screaming and ineffective jump scares that plague the movie from beginning to end. Instead of being scary, each jump scare only manages to be irritating as they are accompanied by screeching screams, often out of proportion to what is going on. Also, some comedy moments are introduced that are as ineffective as the horror ones, with a frantic style of editing where in some parts, the scenes are only shown for two or three seconds before cutting to the next. 

With the idea of keeping the viewer guessing about what’s going on in the cabin, some supernatural elements are introduced that only manage to create holes and inconsistencies in the plot. Being honest, since the first minutes, I already had an idea of how the movie would end, and, although it keeps some surprises for the outcome, my prediction was not far at all. None of the events that are there to confuse the viewer are useful and are nothing more than a nuisance in an already defective plot. 

When a character mentions the movie’s name as part of a conversation before 15 minutes have passed, you start figuring out that you are not witnessing one of the best horror movies out there. From the script’s issues to the technical aspects, “30 Miles From Nowhere” has too much against it to at least be entertaining. I never got interested in the characters, and the plot is only mildly interesting, but its holes do not allow for it to be enjoyed.

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