‘Black Rock’ is more than a stone’s throw away from reaching the level of visceral vengeance found in the outstanding 2010 remake of ‘I Spit on Your Grave.’
But it does hit the mark as a gritty addition to the genre of women fighting back against the men who victimized them.
The independent survival horror film stars Kate Bosworth, Lake Bell and Katie Aselton as three women who return to nature in more ways than one.
The bubbly Sarah invites Lou and Abby for a girls’ weekend of camping on a remote island they remember fondly from their younger days.
Lou and Abby are no longer friends because of a falling-out over one of Abby’s past boyfriends. How Sarah convinces them to go on the trip together is one of the best scenes in the film.
The trio thinks they’re alone on the island until they encounter a group of three hunters. The women vaguely recall one of the hunters named Henry from their childhood.
An evening around a campfire reveals the hunters are former soldiers who recently returned from a war zone overseas.
An intoxicated Abby openly flirts with Henry who meets her in the woods and tries to sneak more than a hug and a kiss.
The drunken tryst between Abby and Henry turns violent, and the women are soon forced into fight-or-flight survival mode, hunted like animals by men with guns.
The plot is straightforward, and the action is frantic and raw. The film is rated R for violence, language and brief graphic nudity.
While the women’s performances in ‘Black Rock’ are strong, they don’t quite compensate for the weakness of character development in the film’s villains. The men could’ve been any nameless Neanderthals.
Then again, maybe that was the point.