Sarah invites her old friends, Abby and Lou, on a reunion trip to a remote island in Maine. There will be laughter, tears, and a boozy catharsis. It’s the sort of weekend that can transform the three into fully realized, grown-ass women. You already know this movie, right? Wrong.
Emotional release will come, but this is no weepy ballad of reconciliation. Working from a script by her husband, Mark Duplass, Katie Aselton returns to the Festival with a taut, satisfying thriller. As the danger rises, the gorgeous cinematography transforms the bucolic island into sinister and elemental terrain. Kate Bosworth, Lake Bell, and director Aselton capitalize on the material and deliver remarkable performances, imbuing moments of unbearable suspense with raw emotion.
So go get your chick-flick jollies somewhere else! The women of Black Rock have to confront something far more dangerous—and heavily armed—than their feelings. –Sundance Film Festival
Bosworth - spoiler alert! - gets out while the getting is good. A respectable mumblecore set-up doesn't build to sequences of suspense/horror, but one instance of melee violence. Aselton and Duplass load Rock up with maladroit fodder for a Feminist reading (...or to tidily dodge charges of misogyny). Transgressive horror scenarios (rape/revenge, "most dangerous game") have never seemed so tame and, frankly, boring.
This movie goes where dozens of movies have gone before. It brings absolutely nothing new to the table. You can add this to the mile high pile of bland, tedious Deliverance rip-offs.
Neither as clever as the recent Eden Lake, nor as weird as Deliverance, Black Rock still manages to make the heart pound during the last few minutes. It has many flaws, and if you're inured (like I) to annoying female horror characters then you won't mind the protagonists, but it's still entertaining enough and worthy of one watch. It's closest to is I Spit On Your Grave with a hint of The Most Dangerous Game...
I don't find it to be a particularly feminist film, nor particularly empowering toward women, so if that was the intention then I think it failed. In addition the trained soldiers/game hunters don't seem very good at killing or tracking. The special effects are lacking in creativity and realism and are often just piss poor. It's quite a short film which is to it's benefit, but it still feels as if it should be shorter. This is due to it's incredibly and unnecessarily dialogue heavy script. Still, I'm being too harsh, as I can't say I wasn't thrilled during the last half. 3/5.