Review – Salvage (2006)

SALVAGE

Time Loop Review #06

Type of time loop: Various, dictated by specific action.

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The cheaper the production cost, the harder it is to actually find these movies, and with a budget of just $200k, you can bet this was a tough movie to find. That being said, I did find it, and you can definitely tell where it was cheap. Here’s the thing. Even though my overall score isn’t as high as some of the other movies on this list, the entertainment score is. That tells me that with just a slightly higher budget, certain technical aspects would’ve improved, ultimately making the movie more memorable in the long-term. Budget matters. It does. You don’t need everything, but for certain projects that require it, it definitely helps. That being said, I’m glad they gave it their all, because for a cheap indie movie, it got the point across and wasn’t half bad.

The plot here is essentially Happy Death Day, several years before Happy Death Day was even a thing. The crazy thing about it is this film is more mind-boggling and mysterious when it comes right down to it. It’ll have you questioning why the structure is quite a bit different all the way till the end. The explanation for the differences isn’t exactly perfect or even always explained in the first place, but because it does get the point across. I’m not going to get super picky.

Claire Parker is going to die. At the hands of a sadistic and depraved killer, she will endure a terrifying, unimaginable brutal death–and it will all happen again. After being beaten, dragged, sliced, and stabbed, Claire awakens at work–where it all began–untouched and unharmed. But the hellish ordeal is far from over. The madman is back and he’s ready for more blood…

PEOPLE – 8/20 (40%)

Acting – 0/4 | Characters – 1/4 | Casting – 2/4 | Importance – 3/4 | Chemistry – 2/4

Where, oh where, did we go wrong with the people category? I wouldn’t say it is entirely their fault that this score dipped. This partially plays into budget and just seeming bad overall, but there’s a lot of distracting acting going on that seems overly bad, the characters are mostly forgettable and fictional versions of the actors, other than the main killer – even though the killer isn’t really that memorable, either…he is just more memorable than anyone else. The casting is fine, but nobody is born for the roles because the roles aren’t very unique. As for the importance, this isn’t bad. Everyone plays a role, overall, in what’s going on…one way or another. However, because there is no real character goal (other than to simply survive) this score can’t be awarded full points. The chemistry is fine, yes, just fine. Nothing else stands out.

WRITING – 6/10 (60%)

Dialogue – 1/2 | Balance – 1/2 | Story Depth – 1/2 | Originality – 1/2 | Interesting – 2/2

The writing here wasn’t bad, per se, but it was far from fabulous. Basically, everything was exactly where it needed to be to not be labeled “bad”, but the same can be said vice versa. The main thing I wanted to point out here was that this may be a time loop film, but it is an example of a time loop film done differently. We’ve all seen enough of these movies to get an idea of where it’s going, and I can’t say that for this movie. The first copy she lives, things don’t happen exactly the same way they did before – which isn’t normal. It’s not entirely explained why that happens, but the difference is clever enough to make waves when I watched it. This helped the film remain interesting. Had it not had that freshness to the concept, my interest may have left me. So, they definitely did a good job here.

BTS – 5/10 (50%)

Visuals – 0/2 | Cinematography – 2/2 | Editing – 1/2 | Advertising – 2/2 | Music/Sound – 0/2

This is probably the least-surprising score out of the bunch. We have got a cheap movie, so it’s not that surprising that there’s not a ton of focus on the stuff going on behind-the-scenes. You can tell right away that it’s cheap, as the amateur, student film-look is readily apparent. The use of blood also looks rather fake and like watery ketchup. That being said, they did try to make the shots look really nice. The cinematography was done really well, actually. I was impressed. Editing was normal, it was as-advertised, and the music and sound was just as distracting as the acting at times. This all makes sense, of course, they don’t have a lot of options for musical score.

NARRATIVE ARC – 8/10 (80%)

Introduction – 2/2 | Inciting Incident – 1/2 | Obstacles – 2/2 | Climax – 2/2 | Resolution – 1/2

The score for narrative arc was comparable to some of the other time loop films. Given how the main character had the main goal of surviving, we were able to have some good obstacles, albeit also cheap and not that deep of obstacles, they are obstacles nonetheless. Other than that, it has a decent introduction and climax, but the Inciting incident never actually had a crossing the threshold moment, it is almost always the same thing, so nothing changes enough for there to be one. As for the resolution, I would say it returns to a new sense of norm, but never actually calms down, so it only had one of the two things you want in a resolution.

ENTERTAINMENT – 5/10 (50%)

Rewatchability – 1/2 | Fun Experience – 2/2 | Impulse/Buy – 0/2 | Impulse/Talk – 1/2 | Sucks You In – 1/2

Here’s where things get a little interesting. For the past few movies, the score was often 30%, and those points are the same for Salvage, but with a couple extra points added as well when it came to the impulse to talk about it, and its ability to suck the audience in. It’s true. This actually has some discussion-worthy elements to what’s actually happening. I slightly wish I had someone to talk to about the things that happen in the movie. There are also moments in the movie where you can’t blink, which goes into the sucking the audience in portion. Ultimately, this movie may not be scored as high technically speaking, but it is more entertaining than some of these other time loop movies, too. Respect.

SPECIALTY – 25/40 (62.5%)

Horror – 5/10 | Mystery – 5/10 | Time Loop – 10/10 | Halfway Decent – 5/10

Here we go. I’ll be honest, the time loop aspect was done really, really well. It was unique and made an overdone idea feel fresh and new, but that’s where the specialty category stops being awesome. As far as horror goes, I can’t call it scary, but cheap, indie, gore horror fans may love it. As a mystery, it does do a very good job, but it asks more question than answers in a preference for quirks to remain strange. Well, most movies eventually explain things like that and this doesn’t. Halfway Decent? Well, they mostly made the movie they intended to from the beginning, but they should’ve saved up some money overall…or got endorsed or something. They simply didn’t have enough finances to fully produce their vision.

Total Score – 57%

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