Hazard Movie Review
Written by Becky Roberts
Released by 101 Films
Written and directed by Lou Simon
2015, 80 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 22nd June 2015
Norbert Velez as Jacob
Todd Bruno as David
Aniela McGuiness as Brenda
Gema Calero as Melanie
Pranks gone wrong often involve spilt milk or the odd arrest. But beheading? That’s extreme.
Famed for setting up practical jokes on people, hidden camera TV show Scary Antics is desperate to rake in the ratings. So when a group of friends turns to them to scare their disturbed, weird friend Jacob in a chemical factory he already thinks is haunted, the show’s director sees the perfect opportunity for a special episode.
But in a twisted turn of events that sees the unamused prankee become the pranker, it is gas mask-wearing, axe-wielding Jacob that ends up roaming the corridors out for revenge against his friends and the filming crew. Instead this time, it’s no joke; the bloodshed is real. The plausible ‘what if?’ of it all is disturbing and the delivery makes it all the more sinister.
For a low budget slasher, Hazard is clever. The multiple cameras set-up by the film crew around the factory track Jacob’s maniacal escapade, and as the terrified crew flit between them in the control room they’re trapped in – each taking turns to go out and find an exit - suspense has you by the throat.
A watertight, well-edited flow of night vision shots makes for a suspenseful, eerie sub-80 minutes – permeated with jump scares as Jacob bursts into empty camera frames or comes into contact with his prey. Hazard makes good use of the dark, geographically complex environment – there’s a lot of painfully slow creeping around corners and getting lost down the maze of corridors – and though many of the fatal blows happen out of camera, Hazard doesn’t completely duck out of gore; an axe through the eye gives you chance to appreciate some good old fashioned SFX.
Performances wouldn’t look out of place in an 80s B-movie – sadly, you have to take the soap-opera style acting and questionable dialogue on the chin here to enjoy it. Characters are just about interesting enough and appropriately unlikeable; while the dodgy director and squealing friends don’t deserve quite the comeuppance they get, you never feel too sorry for them. Hell, sometimes you find yourself egging Jacob on.
The moral of the story: don’t pick on the quiet guy. Hazard doesn’t exactly leave a lasting impression, but for thrifty thrills it delivers. This is one to watch in the dark.