Writer: Rustam Branaman (Screenplay)
Starring: Jeremy Sumpter, Elizabeth Di Prinzio, Brett Davern, Chris Coy, Linsey Godfrey, Virginia Williams, Johnathon Schaech, Harley Graham
Plot: A terrifying supernatural thriller in which a group of college friends on a road trip find themselves fighting off dark forces at a remote farmhouse after a chance encounter with a strange little girl.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Simple Budget Horror
Story: The Culling starts with a girl running from something in the dark, I feel a cliché comment coming here. Next we meet Emily (Di Prinzio) who is chatting to Sean (Davern) on an internet with them both exchanging ghost capturing images, trying to out scare each other. Emily joins her friends Amanda (Godfrey), Hank (Coy) Tyler (Sumpter) and Sean for a fun filled weekend like most college students. The five friends find a little girl crying just searching for her chance to go home and decide to help her by taking her home.
Emily takes the little girl Lucy into the house but there is no one there, the friends hang around until the parents return home and find a place to stay for the night. When Lucy’s mother has an accident the five friends get stuck at the house looking after Lucy when we clearly have been hearing noises coming from the house and surroundings. As the night continues the five friends find out they are not alone and when Lucy and Amanda go missing the four remaining friends have to figure out what is going on while being haunted by a spirit creature.
The Culling manages to look like it could have been a lot better but let’s look out how things played out. We do follow the clichés there is no question about that and we do get the characters making stupid horror movie mistakes, separating and not listening to instruction. The issue I had was that the film doesn’t seem to want to identify the force until it is too late which takes away the reason why the characters are running around aimlessly at times. When we do finally get the reveal it does again come off clichéd but works for what this horror is trying to achieve. You can see the low budget used on this film which doesn’t help because the acting takes away from certain moments that are highlights. I think this had a lot of potential but just went in the wrong directions. (4/10)
Jeremy Sumpter: Tyler the ex-boyfriend of Emily but still friends with everyone, he goes on the trip hoping to win Emily back but really comes off as a big softy. Jeremy manages to make us get annoyed with his character as he clearly looks out of place in this role. (2/10)
Elizabeth Di Prinzio: Emily the head strong trainee nurse who really takes charge of the situation, she manages to stay calm while the rest overreact and tries to understand the situation. Elizabeth tires to be a good lead and shows all the character needed but really isn’t strong enough for the role. (4/10)
Brett Davern: Sean the trademark asshole of the group who only ever thinks about himself, you will grow to hate this character quickly. Brett does a good job making you really hate this character. (6/10)
Chris Coy: Hank the fifth wheel of the group who panics way too much making all the wrong decisions. Chris really looks like this was mailed in. (2/10)
Linsey Godfrey: Amanda fresh out of rehab but hasn’t learnt her lessons because she still wants to take drugs, she becomes an easy victim for the spirit because of her weaknesses. Linsey doesn’t do anything of any quality in the role. (2/10)
Support Cast: The Culling has a supporting cast of the children and the family but never really uses them to the best of the abilities.
Director Review: Rustam Branaman – Rustam manages to take every possible cliché and turn it into a film that really isn’t very character driven but does have one very good horror moment. (4/10)
Thriller: The Culling you don’t seem to want to care about the characters as they just make the silly mistakes over and over again. (2/10)
Settings: The Culling does create the isolation factor needed nicely. (8/10)
Special Effects: The Culling has a mix of good and bad effects, but I will say it is due to low budget. (5/10)
Suggestion: The Culling is one that you could watch on late night TV only I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it and I wouldn’t suggest anyone else too. (Late Night TV)
Best Part: When Amanda looks in the closest, good jump scare.
Worst Part: Not following instructions.
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: It is left open for one, but I doubt it.
Post Credits Scene: No
Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes
Tagline: When the devil breeds…a new evil is born.
Overall: The Culling is a very clichéd horror thriller that doesn’t come off as well as it could, but it really did have potential.