Haylie Duff, Wilmer Calderon, Adam Daniels
Desecrated has just arrived on VOD courtesy of those indie folks at Uncork'd Entertainment, and it's a film I'd have likely enjoyed a heck of a lot more had I not already seen a similar plot pulled off with much greater success with last year's Sader Ridge. Despite having bigger names, and by bigger names I mean Haylie Duff and Michael Ironside, director Rob Garcia has crafted a fairly straightforward, run-of-the-mill thriller.
Allie (Haylie Duff) sneaks off with some of her friends to her family's super deluxe summer getaway, though she makes sure that daddy (Michael Ironside) doesn't know a thing. The only person around is the property's caretaker, Ben (Gonzalo Menendez), a former Navy officer who takes his job ultra-seriously and may have a raging case of PTSD to go along with it all.
This ain't going to be pretty.
If you were going to make a thriller/horror type flick and decided to have a contest to see how many cliche's you could actually fit into the movie, I'm pretty sure you'd end up with a movie like Desecrated. It's a fairly rare movie where it's the killer that you're actually rooting for, but such is the case with Desecrated, where Menendez's appearance as the ragingly psychotic Ben is easily the film's highlight and Menendez is clearly having a great time of it. Of course, that's part of the problem with the film. Menendez is so creepy and effective that even with the expected clueless young adults it's baffling that they don't just pack their bags up and get the heck out of there.
Of course, given the obvious psychosis of Ben it's also a bit baffling how he landed the gig in the first place. But, I digress.
While Allie and her friends for the most part fit the usual stereotypes for this kind of film, Eduardo (Wilmer Calderon) deserves a special mention as one of the more irritating characters to come around in this type of film in quite awhile. It would be interesting to know if the character was actually written this way or if Calderon decided to go for the gusto of making sure his character was the one that everyone wanted to see killed off.
Beyond the satisfaction of watching Menendez, the majority of Desecrated is your fairly standard-issue thriller that you'd likely watch after midnight on Showtime or find hiding on some video store shelf (assuming video stores actually existed much anymore. Sigh). With characters impossible to care about and scenes that for the most part leave little impact, Desecrated disappoints.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic