The Sand, 2015.
Directed by Isaac Gabaeff.
Starring Brooke Butler, Jamie Kennedy, Mitchel Musso, Dean Geyer, Meagan Holder and Cleo Berry.
A group of partygoers get trapped on a beach after an all-night party as the sand devours anybody who touches it.
Anybody who has seen the 1987 anthology movie Creepshow 2 will be familiar with The Raft, the best segment of the film and one that tells a simple story of four young adults trapped on a lake by an oil slick-type thing that consumes anybody who gets in the water. It’s not very long and uses minimal effects but it is a compact and tight little story told well. The Sand tells pretty much the same story but is stretched out to 81 minutes and is filled with the most thinly written stereotypes that teen horror movies have to offer, along with some awful dialogue and Asylum-level CGI effects that make the relatively short running time a real slog to get through.
That isn’t to say that The Sand doesn’t have anything to offer though, as director Isaac Gabaeff does manage to make the film look pretty good but then again, a sun-kissed beach always looks good. The premise itself is hardly original but it’s what you do with the material that counts and this is where the main problem lies with The Sand as it never really does anything except the obvious; people try to get across the beach without touching the sand by using rafts, bits of wood, surf boards and it all fails, whittling down the numbers until the inevitable characters are left. And that’s nothing to shout about either as all of the characters in the film are pretty horrible and written with as much depth as a clichéd character type needs, the survivors not really gaining our sympathies for their night of torment as they weren’t exactly a blast to spend a padded 81 minutes with.
The special effects are cheap CGI that make Sharknado look like Jaws, the hairs that emerge from the sand to see what is on the surface looking like something a child knocked up on a ‘90s computer and as for the neon tentacle that emerges from the sand to take a swipe at the group, it wouldn’t have looked out of place in an old Godzilla cartoon. And while special effects don’t make a film, that fact that The Sand is so inconsistent and drawn out after the initial setup – which does actually provide a bit of suspense as you figure out what is going on – only serves to highlight the dismal gore effects. It’s not the worst monster movie you’ll ever see but The Sand does suffer from not having enough material to fill up its running time, let alone decent material of any substance, so why put yourself through that when you can enjoy a similar story in a third of the time with another film?
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★