Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Helpers (2012)

Written and directed by Chris Stokes, The Helpers is a slice of nastiness that forgets to provide any actual entertainment along with the gore. There's no tension, there are no interesting twists and turns, and there's certainly no character development to make you care about the people in peril.

After a sequence that details a fire at an orphanage we then get to the main part of the story, a bunch of pretty young things on a trip to Las Vegas. Unfortunately, they end up gaining two flat tyres, which then leads to the boys heading off to find help while the girls wait in the car. The boys find help, and are also offered food and drink and a place to stay. The girls are then collected and encouraged to join in with the relaxation. It's only the next again morning that things start to look different, when it becomes clear that the people offering to help are actually planning to kill them.

There are three types of movie reviews that are tough to write, in my experience. The BIG titles that you already feel have had enough written about them, movies that you love, and fear any written expression of that love may turn into something too fawning and repetitive, and bland movies that are bad without even managing to be entertainingly bad. The Helpers isn't a BIG title, and I certainly didn't love it.

It's bland in almost every way I can think of. Or, rather, can't think of. Because I have no idea what to say about it. Stokes shows a minimal level of competency, I guess, with his writing and direction. I mean that the awful script at least proves that he CAN write, and the structure and development of the slight plot at least signify SOME direction.

I'd love to say that the cast helped to make everything better, or even that they stunk to high heaven. But I can't. Truth be told, I could barely distinguish one character from the other. Cameron Diskin stood out, thanks to the fact that he sometimes looked a bit like a young Karl Urban, and the one black male of the group was played by Black Thomas (that's his real name, apparently, although he also goes by Alfred Thomas), who did okay. Denyce Lawton was okay, as the one black female, and Christopher Jones looked a bit like a young Oscar Issac, and that is all I can say about the entire cast. Honestly, I could keep track of two characters because of their race, and two other characters because of who they kind of looked like. Yes, I realise how horrible and sad that is. I defy anyone to watch this movie and then tell me what they thought, specifically, of Dustin Harnish, Kristen Quintrall, Rachel Sterling, Braxton Davis, Rebecca Burchett, Dallas Lovato, and the others. If they don't all blur into one homogenised rent-an-actor mass for you then, well done, you're much sharper than I am.

The Helpers is pretty rubbish. It does enough to avoid being among the worst movies I've seen, but there's no excuse for how unentertaining and bland it is.



  1. Never heard of this one, and based on your review I see why LOL I'll gladly pass!