Review by Cade
Deserted was the kind of film to have an underlying moral throughout the whole plot, but one that fails to justify it because of the absolute foolishness of the characters. We meet Jae (Mischa Barton), a recently released felon, who is living with her brother near California’s Death Valley. The two, along with her brother’s girlfriend, decide that a trip to the “Burning Moon” (undoubtedly a play on the Burning Man) festival would be a nice excursion from her time in jail. Unfortunately, it becomes evident that Mother Nature takes this opportunity to enact her revenge.
Jae and her party, after having some car problems, decide to accept help from another group of strangers in a trailer. They quickly become lost, and soon find themselves stranded in the middle of Death Valley. The cinematographer makes sure to include several shots of the beauty of the landscape, which makes the irony all more evident: normally this is the type of place to enjoy and admire, but these characters want nothing more than to escape their surroundings. This juxtaposition of expectations and reality serves to make the premise of the film that much more sinister.
Something that put me off would be the characters themselves: hardly any of them are likable. They each have their own problems and flaws, which being stranded in the desert stresses. This leads them to make a lot of choices that are rash and seemingly stupid. One way to think about this movie would be a type of And Then There Were None scenario, but the one punishing them is nature. There is no short of conflict and tension between the characters, which makes their predicament all the more entertaining to watch.
To conclude, Deserted is a film that takes place in the midst of a beautiful yet alarmingly dangerous location. The acting was great and professional, but the bigger problem I had with it was the writing and realism that the story asked us to believe in. Nevertheless, I would recommend the film as there are a couple of compelling scenes worth watching.
Deserted will be available to rent or own February 28th on FlixFling, Amazon, iTunes, Dish Network, Time Warner, DirecTV, XFinity, Verizon FiOS and more.
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