Published Oct 20, 2012It's not clear if director Alex Chandon thinks he's approaching the subgenre of hillbilly horror with tongue firmly in cheek, but regardless of intent, the result is detestable.
Initially, it seems like there might be a point to this backwater retread of themes far more intelligently explored in The Wicker Man (both versions), and even The Wicker Tree, but Inbred quickly reveals itself as a mean-spirited and juvenile slab of gore-porn.
After a drab introduction that pairs an overtly sinister and maudlin score with looming shots of an idyllic pastoral landscape, we meet the sacrifices: four troubled teens watching an old slasher flick in the back of a vehicle and their two middle aged caseworkers. The group is on a character building retreat to a remote village in the British countryside (not that Chandon renders the relationships between characters and the impetus behind the trip with much lucidity).
The broad dynamics displayed between the cocky toughs, the introverts and their ideologically opposed supervisors is enough to identify a predictable kill order but that's as much as we learn about these insipid victims in waiting. Every character is an imbecilic domino in service of a vague grand design that's either in the shape of a middle finger, or an erection. But we never pull back far enough from the pornographic parade of grotesqueries to find out which.
As the peculiarities of the physically deformed and obviously mentally ill locals grow from off-putting to threatening to outright murderous, Chandon, who also co-wrote the shoddily reasoned script with Paul Shrimpton, takes a few underdeveloped stabs at subtext. One, which removes those pesky, potentially life-saving, cell phones, takes a damning stance on resisting technology while another alludes to stripping parts from the rotting corpse of history to create something new. Most overtly, the film literally spews excrement all over its own audience after a chortling animal-masked mob inflates a hated outsider with sewage past the point of bursting.
None of these ideas are developed to become more than a convenient plot device or one of many excessive displays of crass shock value. Other than competent cinematography, acting and gore effects, there is nothing to appreciate about this disgusting, cartoonish demonization of the disabled and marginalized.
If Inbred's intended message is really that indulgent cannibalization of niche interest drives away outsiders and deforms its insular community, the immature and exploitive methodology utilized makes for a deplorable rallying call. (Split Second Films)