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‘Black Rock’ a suspenseful offering on EPIX On Demand

Black Rock Poster
Black Rock Poster
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Black Rock

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Three friends motorboat to a deserted island for a few days of secluded girl time and suddenly find themselves fighting for their lives in “Black Rock.” This smart and suspenseful thriller from director, star and story author Katie Aselton is available for home viewing through Roanoke Cox Cable’s EPIX On DEMAND. Rather than vomiting up yet another tired and gross slasher flick, Aselton brings us three fully developed and intelligent characters and places them in an impromptu version of “The Most Dangerous Game.”

She plays the supposedly happily married Abby who thinks she’s off for a few quiet days with her best friend Sarah (Kate Bosworth). Unbeknownst to her, Sarah has planned something more like a high school reunion and also invited Lou (Lake Bell). Abby and Lou’s past history has left their relationship sorely strained. However they soon have to put their differences aside and unite against an unsuspected trio of armed men (Will Bouvier, Jay Paulson, Anslem Richardson). The guys claim to be ex-military buds on a hunting trip but they give off an undeniably creepy vibe.

Things begin amiably enough with the girls inviting them to their camp fire. However, a combination of drinking, past resentment and sexual tension leads to an irrevocably tragic incident. Heightened emotions and mental instability quickly escalate to the point of the unarmed women fleeing their armed pursuers with no escape route in sight.

Yet this movie is much more than prolonged carnage. The girls are the focus here. Their personal histories and secrets come to the surface and their relationships constantly change as they deal with each other and the isolation and desperation of their predicament. Violence and nudity are never depicted gratuitously but stem directly from the chillingly plausible scenario that reminds us that actions have consequences and shows us how quickly things can get out of hand.