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Passive-Aggressive Possession

Avenged Review

As a whole, I find the rape-initiated revenge films to be cheap and tasteless. Last House on the Left, I Spit on Your Grave and its churned-out sequels...Sometimes it feels like they use the truly gruesome act as a catalyst for their entertainment. And even from the perspective of an undead serial killer, that's low. And Avenged is no different. It uses the act as an initial catalyst. Despite the metaphorical parallels of the psychological consequences, it wasn't enough to warrant the use. But enough of that...

It doesn't take long for our action to kick in. After our protagonist's slaying, she is raised from the dead, possessed by a Native American chief bent on vengeance of his own. Though the two share a common bond in their desire to tear our villains limb from limb, our spiritual host isn't too fond of sharing a body with a violent ghost or the gradual decomposition of her undead body. It makes for scenes that, despite the well-designed and produced gore effects, are actually depressing. Basically, our heroine is tortured from the opening scene to the closing credits through various formats of horror and it makes you feel more sad for her than happy for her opportunities at vengeance.

The action was solid. It houses some of the more violent slayings I've seen in a while, enough to make even me cringe. Its acting slides up and down the scale. So much so, I'm sooner to blame a quick-paced shooting schedule or an impatient director for the fluctuations in performances. Acting tends to do two things: it trends up as the actors and director warm up into a groove, or it stays consistent (whether that be bad or good) throughout. The scale on which this film couldn't stabilize its acting was to the point of distraction.

But this film wasn't designed for acting prowess, was it? No. It succeeded on what it set out to do, which was to horrify with some brutal vengeance on some racist, sexist pigs. Not much more to it than that. In fact, given the content, it was perhaps more offensive to the cultures it was avenging than the cliche bigots it was set out to kill. It was enough to leave a bad taste in your mouth that wasn't quite diluted enough by the decent action sequences.

Horror Qualifier: 8/10

Horror Quality: 7/10

Film Quality: 3/10

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