film reel image

film reel image

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Project Solitude 2009 * * Stars


2009's Project Solitude feels at times like it could be an art film or something a la the Lifetime network (probably because Eric Roberts stars and has been in so many of them). That's a screw loose combination and there were moments where a smidgen of it actually worked. "Solitude" is also one of those familiar slasher flick types where a bunch of people are in the middle of nowhere and get picked off by a would-be, whodunit killer. "All of us will get our hands dirty". Sigh, blah blah blah.

Project Solitude is directed by Rustam Branaman, a dude who probably thought he could get away with not hiring a good script supervisor, not hiring an expert on blood squibs, and not hiring an editor who could trim his film to create more tension. Scenes linger too long with the unlikable characters almost veering into camp. Murders that happen are blase, bloodless, and cut way too quickly. Finally, "Solitude" is so anti-climatic and predictable you feel like it almost ceases to exist. A "gotcha" final clip that suspends reality doesn't make things any more sapid. 

Filmed in Green Bay, Wisconsin of all places and making 96 minutes feel longer than it should, Project Solitude is about a professor (Roberts as John Sola) who brings a group of millennials out to the woods for a human experiment on survival and jurisdiction. He will pay them handsomely if they wade out the terms of said experiment. The problem is that everyone keeps getting offed by arrows and choking and other means of demise. Yeah Roberts gives a decent performance as you haphazardly try to see the wheels turning in his head. The other actors, well they come off as paperweight dolts in a world full of Blair Witch take off. Weak "project" management. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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