No matter what you think of “The Evil Dead,” every indie filmmaker wants to have their own version of the Sam Raimi classic. At this point you could compile a sub-genre out of movies involving cabin in the woods demon movies. There was even an actual remake, foreign wannabes like the charming “Wither,” and yes, even a movie called “Cabin in the Woods.” Director Alexander Babaev really wants us to know that he was inspired by “The Evil Dead” and even works hard to convince us we’re watching a successor–sans the tree rape, of course. “The Evil Dead” still maintains its glossy appeal and inherent terror, while “The Bornless Ones” is merely a fine attempt with some admirable ambition behind it. The cabin in the woods this time preys on the weakness of the characters, exploiting their fears and insecurities, allowing them to possess them.
After the obligatory prologue allowing us an idea of the concept, we meet Emily, who has just purchased a remote house in the woods that sits near an institution. Her brother Zach suffers from a severe form of Cerebral Palsy which leaves him incapable of caring for himself and prone to a lot of deadly seizures. Emily is hell bent on caring for her brother, even in spite of her doting putting a strain on her marriage to her increasingly frustrated boyfriend Jesse who resents Zach. Along with their two best friends Michelle (the insanely sexy Bobby T) and Woodrow, the foursome attempt to settle in to the new house and get Zach accommodated. But, of course, things don’t go quite as planned when they discover a demented history within the house including odd symbols, weird incantations, and notes lying all around, all of which summon the demons.
Soon Zach is fully healed, up, and cognizant of his surroundings, and begins displaying behavior that turns increasingly disturbing. Before long we have a demonic orgy of the foursome being victimized by the demonic entities and fighting for survival. Director Babaev’s “The Bornless Ones” is only a mediocre horror movie right through the end that suffers from a lack of tone, and some sub-par performances. Despite the efforts to inject a lot of tension and terror, the movie never quite grasps that sense of urgency and nightmarish grit that “The Evil Dead” accomplished so brilliantly. Babaev definitely has a love for Sam Raimi’s original film, which is always a good source of inspiration for horror filmmakers, but “The Bornless Ones” never quite to amounts to anything but a passable horror movie that allows for a decent diversion.
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