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The Victim (2011)

The VictimDirector: Michael Biehn
Screenplay: Michael Biehn, Jennifer Blanc, Ryan Honey, Danielle Harris
Starring: Michael Biehn
Certificate: 18
Running time: 83 minutes
Release date: 23 September 2012

Loner Kyle (Biehn) lives alone in his cabin in the woods, happy to keep himself ostracised from the rest of society. However, he finds that it’s not always easy to keep society at arm’s length as he finds his door being beaten upon one dark night. When he opens the door to a screaming woman, Annie (Blanc), his attempts to find out what is going on begins.

Her story is one that he finds difficult to believe initially – that her friend has been killed by the police and they are chasing her to make sure that there are no loose ends – but events that transpire make it very clear that she’s telling the truth. The cops involved also stop by the cabin and as Kyle begins to piece together the facts at his disposal, he realises that he needs to protect Annie from the crooked cops. There are a number of flashbacks that give us a little bit of backstory to Annie and her friend Mary (Harris) who are both

You’ll know Biehn well from his acting career, specifically in James Cameron films The Terminator and Aliens, but The Victim marks his directorial debut. It prides itself on being a grindhouse picture and is suitably grimy as a result. Plenty of sex and violence along with a wince inducing scene involving a red hot crowbar and someone’s ‘special place’ really sell the indie feel of the movie. Of course there are some issues and errors, but nothing that can’t be bypassed to watch the film through to the end. Surprisingly, considering the premise, Biehn has not followed the obvious route of creating a siege movie, but instead plays around with the usual ideals and keeps the characters on their toes throughout. There are revelations and bargaining by everyone involved as both sides vie for control of the situation.

Interestingly, the whole film was shot in daylight hours, with the night scenes diffused in post-production to appear  bathed in moonlight. It may interest you to know that Blanc and Biehn are married in real life, hence the steamy sex scene between their characters.

There’s a final hint of a twist that is cleverly re-twisted with the final shot and line of the film too.

A true indie horror thriller that is worthy of your time.

JD GILLAM

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