Saturday 18 November 2023

Shudder Saturday: The Tank (2023)

Written and directed by Scott Walker, The Tank is a film that many may already be wary of, considering the fact that Walker's previous movie, his first feature, was The Frozen Ground (a serial killer movie starring John Cusack and Nic Cage, and a film I have often heard maligned, although I have yet to see it for myself). If you ARE already wary of it then you might just want to avoud it, which would save you from becoming as exasperated and angry as I did.

Matthew Whelan and Luciane Buchanan are Ben and Jules, a couple who have inherited an abandoned coastal property from Ben's side of the family. So they head along there, daughter Reia (Zara Nausbaum) in tow, and start trying to turn the house into a home. Unfortunately, there's a large underground water tank on the property that has housed a large and dangerous creature for some time. When the creature gets out, people start to die . . . and it takes Ben and Jules far too long to figure out what is really going on.

There may be some people who like this, and one or two people who even love it, but I cannot wrap my brain around that concept. The Tank is boring, it's illogical and unbelievable, and it feels lazy and full of moments that were done better in other horror movies. Walker may disagree with that, and we can assume that he tried his best to craft what he thought would be a fun and thrilling creature feature, but that is how the end product plays out.

It doesn't help that the central cast aren't that engaging either. I liked Buchanan the most, and she has more of a watchability factor than anyone else onscreen, but Whelan is just too bland, and Nausbaum isn't given that much to do, with the exception of times when she is placed in immediate danger. There are some other people who appear onscreen, but they are only there to become potential victims of the creature, we don't get to know too much about them, meaning we subsequently don't care enough when they find themselves looking at a strange set of very sharp incisors. 

It's worth mentioning again, however, that the entirety of a film can be overshadowed by a negative opinion formed in the earlier scenes. Others who give this a go may be more forgiving, or may still be able to find elements that they like as they criticise other aspectes of it. I found almost nothing to enjoy here. I didn't care for the main characters, I hated the developing backstory (it just felt too stupid, especially when it is revealed by that well-wron troped of everything being conveniently written down for others to find), I thought the creature design was as derivative and lazy as any other part of the movie, and a number of scenes seemed extra dark and disorientating in an attempt to avoid showcasing the main beastie.

On the plus side, I saw the imagery for this and thought it might be another horrible attempt to cash in on that horrible story of what happened to Elisa Lam and the Cecil Hotel, so I will be kind to it for it not being anything to do with that. Please just bear in mind that my rating here is a kind one, and anyone else who watches this and ends up agreeing with me cannot say that they weren't warned.


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