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Thursday, December 23, 2021

Review: Death Valley

Director: Matthew Ninaber

Screenplay: Matthew Ninaber

Year: 2021

Recently Shudder has been doing an excellent job with the films he adds to his service. When this happens, users of the service become somewhat more careless when choosing which movie to watch. This was my situation, and what a surprise I was.

In "Death Valley", a group of soldiers has the mission to enter a research facility occupied by an enemy group, where they must rescue a scientist. Once they enter the facility, they realize that the military is not their only concern. A dangerous creature wreaks havoc on the facility as the military and the scientist try to get out of there alive.

Well, when my criteria for selecting a movie to watch is just because it's new to Shudder, I shouldn't be complaining too much about the result. Of course, in my work as a horror critic, I have the advantage of being able to do it even though I have some of the responsibility of choosing a film with this criterion. But I refer to the aforementioned; Shudder had such a good run with his recent additions that I was careless with this one.

From the first seconds, I already suspected that this had not been a good choice, but I decided to give it the opportunity, more motivated by writing this review than by what I was seeing. The performances were the first sign that something was wrong. It's hard to believe that the two men we follow for most of the movie are military men with special training and not two recent college graduates. On top of this, the script by fellow writer and director Matthew Ninaber presents every possible cliché situation for these types of films.

With my expectations very low, it only remained to see the creature, which being a creature feature, is one of the points of interest. The creature isn't as bad as the rest of the elements mentioned earlier in this movie, but it's also not the most compelling, let alone a memorable one. Its blood spree is also limited by the clearly tight budget with which the film was made.

With Shudder's hot streak of interesting movies, I didn't give it much thought before diving into his most recent original film, but it was definitely a mistake. "Death Valley" is boring, its performances don't convey what they should, and its production value is weighed down by ideas that don't fit within its budget. In the end, the only positive thing I get is being able to write this review.

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