â€œWhoa. What just happened?â€ These were my initial impressions on viewing One Hour To Die, a British horror movie brought to us by Chemical Burn Entertainment. One item of interest is that this entire movie was done in one long continuous shot using a live action cameraman known as The Director in addition to what appears to be hidden cameras. Thus the entire movie is â€œreal-timeâ€ and has a slightly voyeuristic feel.
The movie begins in the living room of Shirl, who is eagerly anticipating the arrival of her local priest for a birthday party she is throwing for him. Once the Father shows up, the party begins. Everyone seems to be having an alright time until Jessie enters the scene. At this point the movie takes on an awkward, nearly uncomfortable feeling. The group of adults begins to play games to pass the time. During nearly each game (as well as in between) Jessie seems to be doing everything in her power to increase the sexual tension between herself and each male in the room, including the Father who at times seems to feed into it. This doesnâ€™t go unnoticed by Shirl or Toni, who both make their displeasure known to the Directorâ€™s camera. It additionally seems to lead them to lower their inhibitions a little bit.
As the party progresses on, the Father begins to open his birthday cards from each of the guests, thanking them in turn. As he opens and reads the last card he seems focused on it, studying it intently. After everyone urges him to divulge the contents of the card he finally informs them: everyone at the party has been poisoned with wolfsbane, there is an antidote located somewhere in the home that must be taken in strict increments, and if anyone tries to leave they will not get the antidote and die. Basically, everyone at the party hasâ€¦ one hour to die.
Everyone laughs it off as just another party game to which Shirl states that she didnâ€™t plan this but thinks that one of the other guests must have. This is nothing but wasted time as everyone begins to show symptoms of not feeling well. Once they realize itâ€™s not a game, that the clock is already ticking and their fates have become undetermined, the deadly race is on.
I liked that this movie had a throwback 70â€™s grindhouse feel to it. The actors are not A-list, the film quality is sub-par or at least made to look sub-par, and it was filmed on what appears to be a dollar store budget. That being said, the idea behind the movie was great and the cinematography used in a continuous fashion was actually rather brilliant. While I liked the idea of it being shot in one continuous shot, I must admit that I do wish they had tried a few more one-time shots as it seems the actors were almost uncomfortable with their lines at times. I didnâ€™t really get the overall impression that these were a group of close friends. If they had played through the shot a couple more times it would have seemed a bit more intimate instead of uncomfortable and forced.
I would recommend watching this one with an English-to-English dictionary as itâ€™s kind of tough to understand whatâ€™s being said at times.