Don’t Hunt What You Can’t Kill
by Brody Rossiter
Ever since World Wrestling Entertainment Studios decided to diversify their cinematic catalogue and move away from wrestling superstar fronted franchises such as The Marine and 12 Rounds, they’ve tangled with numerous genres with varying degrees of success. From high-octane action (Dead Man Down), to Hitchcockian thrillers (The Call) to subversive horror flicks such as Oculus (stay tuned for more on that one…), these impactful entries have largely proved that straight to DVD is no longer a fate destined for the studios’ titles, and a much greater level of filmmaking ambition is present.
Horror has proved to be fertile ground for WWE pictures, as the genre’s impactfulness has allowed for unique yet cost-effective narratives to shine through. Narratives such as the one exhibited within 2012’s No One Lives; a Deathwish-esque thriller that utilises chilling role-reversal to marry visceral action with an engagingly subversive twist.
Directed by Ryuhei Kitamura and starring Luke Evans (Dracula Untold) as our killer/anti-hero, No One Lives pits a group of wilderness dwelling hoods against a man avenging the death of his girlfriend. Unfortunately for these criminals, they decided to pick on a highly-trained, tooled-up serial killer that never leaves business unfinished and very rarely a body with a pulse.
No One Lives takes a series of familiar series of genre tropes and quickly turns them on their head pitting two of horror cinema’s greatest antagonists, a lone slasher and bands of backwater fiends, against one another. Added to this heady concoction is a long-suffering survivor of Evans’ nameless and sadistic Driver, who must navigate between and manipulate the warring parties to secure her freedom. What viewers are left with is a satisfyingly gory and bombastic action horror movie that pays homage to its admittedly more accomplished precursors, while also stamping its own unique impression on the genre.