Directed by Kevin Carraway
Runtime 92min. - Rated R
1.5 Stars (out of 4)
"7 Below" will be available on DVD or V.O.D April 17th
Towards the beginning of "7 Below" Val Kilmer's character sustains a blow to the head that causes him to be delusional. It's very likely a similar event occurred just before he signed on to make this film. Many of his roles in recent years have been questionable, but I question whether this one is unquestionably the most questionable. Having an A-list actor can make a film more appealing, especially a film that has received very little publicity. However, it can also damage the credibility of the actor. The first effect is temporary while the other is permanent. I hope that's something that Kilmer realizes. Exacerbating the situation is his clear lack of interest in the role. This man is a true acting talent and his lack of effort in this film is just the consequence of his lack of passion for the material.
Val Kilmer has been incalculably more successful than I could ever hope to be. I understand that my criticisms don't amount to a bug on his windshield. It's like my boss always says, "Opinions are like assholes, everybody's got one." So before anyone gets on their high horse, I'd like to assure you I understand my place.
An opening scene sets the tone for the rest of the movie. The opening scene of "7 Below" was its worst. It contained adultery, spousal abuse and murder, but not a single explanation. There's just a bunch of characters suffering and the viewer doesn't know their names, histories or relationships. It's all relevant later on in the film, but since it's so poorly constructed I doubt many people will recall those connections when they're made.
After a slow start, it was going to take some work for me to get sucked into the plot again. It almost happened. The film started to hit a stride. Ving Rhame's surly voice started to hypnotize me. Beautiful women caught my eye. Creepy ghosts started to appear. Kilmer's character dies (thank god). Then that momentum was instantly halted. The director did the worse thing he could have ever done to this movie. I'm sure we've all been a victim of this heinous crime. It's a scene that wasn't good the first time and has only gotten worse in the 1000's of times since. A character opens a medicine cabinet and fiddles around. Then they close the cabinet and "BOO!", it's a ghost in the mirror. Then they instantly turn around to find an empty spot where the ghost was just standing. A scene like this always kills my metaphorical cinematic erection.
The movie may appeal to adolescent girls looking for some scares at their slumber party. There's blood and plenty of "gotcha" moments. There's also nice looking douchey guys which are always a slumber party winner. There's no sex after the opening scene and very little cursing that I recall. The plot involves past-lives, storms and an angel of death, not that the plot matters. So if you have a young teen girl and find "7 Below" in a dvd bargain bin, don't be afraid to pick it up.