In order to get the phenomenon known as Cabin in the Woods off my mind, I decided to venture forth and find me a "gem" in the indie circuit or anything of the like, What I got was "Transit."
For those of you who may not know, After Dark films is best known for putting together their "Horrorfest" series; a group of horror films that is released for about a week in theaters, then makes it way to home. Its a decent series of films, some downright awful to a few being refreshingly different from your average mundane horror yarn. (I'm of course speaking specifically towards "The Abandoned," "Kill Theory," and still my favorite kick-ass horrorride, "Frontier(s).")
Now after a few years taking its proverbial stabs at horror, After Dark films is broadening its gruesome horizons and making its way to Action, and one of its first stops is "Transit," a definite welcome for us into the A.D. world of thrills, spills, and chills.
The plot is pretty standard; A group of thieves who just robbed an armored truck, try to stash their booty amongst an unsuspecting families luggage in order to slip passed the police enforced roadblocks without suspicion. Of course the family discovers the money and the criminals try to retrieve their cash by threatening the family using any means they can, and the chase begins.
The film stars Jim Caviezel (Person of interest), James Frain (True Blood), Elizabeth Rohm (Law and Order), Doira Baird (Texas Chainsaw Massacre The Beginning), Harold Perrineau (LOST), and Ryan Donowho. (The OC)
As a thriller this film is pretty tight, with an 80 minutes screen time, and using every minute pretty effectively. No scene felt out of place, or not in keeping with the turn of events that transpired.
The action sequences play out fairly well, with nothing seeming too over the top or ridiculous, but still engagingly exciting nevertheless. You'll have to suspend some disbelief here and there but nothing too strenuous on your part, its just apart of the action/thriller game.
I have to note the authenticity of the setting here, with the film taking place in the southern bayou and definitely showing it with the swamps, hugely heated humidity, and overall dirty and gritty nature of the surroundings. It really added to the violence and the pics tension filled scenes in a big way, so kudos there.
Performance wise this showcases everyone doing their parts adequately. I didn't have any problems with anyone and I thought Caviezel and Frain's showings were definitely in keeping with what we've seen from them before: subtle and quiet to convincing and intense. Not to mention Caviezel has always been a kind of everyman badass and he definitely keeps that trend going here. (Much like in Outlander, Highwaymen, Unknown, and even on Person of Interest right now.)
All in All I had a blast with "Transit." It engaged me with its premise and delivered exactly what it promised which was a nice no-holds barred escapist thriller to sink my teeth into. If all the other After Dark action films are like this one, then I can definitely see these series of films having a little bit more success and recognition for their efforts. Only time will tell.
My rating - 7.5/10