Screamfest 2011 Movie Review – ENTER NOWHERE

Director – Jack Heller
Cast – Sara Paxton, Scott Eastwood, Katherine Waterston and Shaun Sipos

Three strangers arrive one by one at a mysterious cabin in the middle of nowhere only to learn they’ve been brought together for a reason.

So far, Thursday night’s featured films seemed more Suspense/Thriller than Horror (and I am NOT including AN EVENING WITH MY COMATOSE MOTHER in this thought…ick) With this thought, we get to the final film of the night ENTER NOWHERE. Now, before I move any further into this review, I must state I liked this movie.  Don’t misread my nitpicking ways for hate, people!  While the events within this overall story are connected together by the glue that is a silly premise, I found the film ultimately enjoyable. If it weren’t for the character interaction, though, it would have all fallen apart.

It was brought to our attention before the film started that ENTER NOWHERE was recently acquired by Lionsgate, which is big news for Heller and the gang so congrats to them!  With that piece of information, however, I will be on my guard here to not unleash too many details or spoilers about the film. So, I apologize if parts of my review are vague.  Bare with me.

The movie starts out in a ‘Survival Horror’ tone but doesn’t maintain that tone very well, sadly.  We are introduced to Samantha (Katherine Waterston) first.  Soon, Tom (Scott Eastwood…Clint’s son) and Jody (Sara Paxton) join up at this cabin in the middle of, well, NOWHERE.

Vague circumstances surround how they end up in this cabin.  Samantha and Tom had random car issues and Jody (who looked similar to Jody Foster’s character in THE ACCUSED) just arrived there confused with no real reason given. So, the three strangers are stuck in this cabin with a dwindling bag of granola and hardly any water to sustain their thirst. At random moments through this first act, gun shots are heard adding fear that they are not alone and further drove them to find a way out but somehow walking away from the cabin only led them through the forest back to said cabin.  Through this first act, the character interaction mixed with the mystery of how they arrived there maintained my interest.

Since I am not wanting to divulge much more regarding spoilers here, the 2nd and 3rd act here might as well be me leading you into nowhere (get it? nowhere? yeah…sorry).  What I will say here is, once the game of the story is revealed, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes a bit.  Inserting some BACK TO THE FUTURE logic to tie the events and characters together while ultimately using a reference to the video game PAC MAN to explain the main plot point seemed a bit far fetched, I was still okay with suspending my disbelief and going with it.   And sure, the premise seemed a bit stretched thin and probably would have worked better as a TWILIGHT ZONE episode.  But being that one of the strengths of the film are the characters, the actors did well in bringing them to life and the interaction between them gave the film some of its depth and ultimately kept it afloat.

The film does seem to have a weak third act, at least for me.  Also being slightly predictable, I was able to mostly figure out the twists before the film revealed them.  Still, I feel ENTER NOWHERE is worth the viewer’s time.  Technically not a horror film, here’s hoping Lionsgate doesn’t market it as your typical ‘cabin in the woods’ movie because it definitely isn’t.  And that’s not a bad thing!

For more information about ENTER NOWHERE, check out the official website. – Aaron Pruner