Intelligently told, beautifully shot, and filled to the brim with tension, NOBODY CAN COOL is a powerful piece of independent cinema. From the minds of DPYX, Marcy Boyle and Rachel Holzman are living proof that women can bring the pain when it comes to quality horror movies. I don’t want this review to turn into an “OMG LADY DIRECTED HORROR” piece, but with the ever-present animosity towards female directors in the horror community, it’s important to acknowledge excellence and give credit where credit is due.
NOBODY CAN COOL doesn’t fall into the typical traps of other independent films and instead triumphs above constraints of budget and resources. A simplistic approach with one location and minimal cast, NOBODY CAN COOL is a well-crafted story with a fantastic villain.
The story follows Susan and David. A young couple looking to find a weekend away are put in a less-than-ideal situation when they discover their borrowed cabin is inhabited by Len and his pregnant girlfriend Gigi. The two couples agree to share the cabin for the night but find their weekend plans interrupted even further when Susan and David discover desperate fugitives have locked them in their bedroom. The film quickly turns into a game of survival riddled with high tension, greed, and secrets.
Tension is without a doubt the strongest asset of this film. It feels somewhat reminiscent of BURNING BRIGHT in the sense that the fight or flight mentality is on an all time high for every single character. While the characters themselves aren’t as likable as they could be, Nick Principe shines as “Len.” Known best as “Chromeskull” from the LAID TO REST films, Principe shows that he’s far more than just a towering figure with a threatening presence. (Read our exclusive interview with Nick Principe HERE) The other lead performers were somewhat run-of-the-mill making Principe look even more enjoyable, but also causing his character to become somewhat predictable. He’s an intimidating presence, yes, but he’s also our source for comedic relief, and it almost becomes formulaic when that comedic relief is going to pop up. The characters aren’t necessarily likable, but they’re people written well enough to invest our emotions into, and we genuinely do want to see these people survive. Ultimately, however, the actors came to work and did their job.
The camera work throughout this film is incredibly intense. The camera truly shapes the scenario and sucks the air out of the environment. NOBODY CAN COOL feels very intimate, almost as if we’re watching the events unfold from the windows of the cabin. The directors truly did their homework and took the best aspects from successful horror films and transformed it into their own work of art. Unfortunately, there are some digital effects thrown into the mix and completely pull focus. It’s a shame, considering the practical effects are executed so wonderfully. The art department deserves credit as well, because the cabin was very easy on the eyes. The colors contrasted exactly when they needed to but otherwise helped to truly paint the tone of this world with its décor.
Budget does not determine a quality film, and NOBODY CAN COOL epitomizes this concept. Wonderfully executed but not without its faults, this is an incredibly enjoyable independent film. An interesting take on a somewhat overdone subgenre, NOBODY CAN COOL is a powerful debut from DPYX.