A young woman named Allison (Dana Christina), emotionally disturbed by a traumatic past, sets out to face her problems at the extreme haunt known as Perdition. Once she arrives, she signs away her rights via waiver and therefore is allowed to be subjected to extreme psychological and physical torture, at the hands of the menacing Red Skull (Chad Rook) and co.

But as the experience continues and the intensity of the horror treatment intensifies, the limits of Allison’s psyche will be tested as the experience puts her face to face with her darkest fears and personal demons.

The movie spends no time in getting into the extreme haunt aspect of the story, giving a small amount of exposition on the character of Allison. The exposition is enough to give a basic outlay of the characters motivations and personality; however, the rest of the exposition is given in sections throughout the film. These blasts of information, which are sometimes unnecessary to the film and mainly set in the near past, take away from the tension the film is trying to build in moments of terror and leave the viewer confused.

The interesting concept of a horror set in the no hold bars environment of an extreme haunt allows the tension to build naturally. The constant aura of danger set up by the situation the characters are in allows the movie to create great tension in parts as you are never sure how much danger the protagonist is in. However, the movie runs a subplot parallel to the main story where a Japanese News Crew detail the inner workings of the haunt and in my opinion, this is detrimental to the narrative. For me, the backstage look takes away from the tension of the film as it’s like showing how to do a magic trick, it removes the mystery and the interest.

Some of the scenes with this news team also shows interviews with members of Perditions ‘crew’, in which the film tries to show a more human side to the tormentors, this however again adds confusion to the films direction and removes the tension, as the viewer now sees them as normal people rather than torturous psychopaths. By removing the film from the self-contained nature of the extreme haunt experience, the film loses the impact that an extreme haunt would have.

Now I’m not saying character development is bad, however other than with the main character of Allison, the development of the other characters is shallow and in some cases, unnecessary. One of my major gripes with the movie is how it tries to create deeper characterisation of the main antagonist Red Skull. The scene feels unearned, forced and seems to only exists to act as a catalyst for a cliché ending. Other characters in the movie, such as Allison’s companion in Perdition, Zachary and the secondary antagonist of Perdition, the female White Skull known as Nell, have attempts at character building, but these seem to fall short, creating predictable two-dimensional characters.

The movie’s major strength for me comes when it is building the complex map that is the psyche of Allison. Each passing trial seems to awaken another traumatic memory from her past which is then juxtaposed against the traumatic in the present. These have a two-fold effect which for me creates a powerful aura of creepiness. Firstly, it shows the power the extreme haunt has in being able to delve into the nightmarish past of Allison and ignite her darkest fears. The idea of a personal circles of hell is a great idea and one which the film does well, as it is deeply unsettling. Secondly, how the director Anthony DiBlasi shows the effect this experience has on Alisson further builds on the creepy vibe, as it shows her fears coming to the surface and slowly becoming more and more prevalent through a fantastically eerie visual metaphor.

These moments feel few and far between in what seems to be an unconvincing narrative which fails to grab the audience’s attention enough to feel completely compelled by the plot. With a mixture of cheap shock horror, undeveloped good ideas and confusing expositional sections the film ends up being an unmemorable horror film which doesn’t stand out from the pack.

Rental Review: Extremity
2.5Overall Score
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