M.L. Miller here and welcome to my tenth anniversary Best in Horror Countdown! I have also compiled a list of horror films that worth noting to tack on to my Best of Countdown. Some of these films just barely missed the main Best of list and some are just films released through the year I thought stood out in one way or another. Do not forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. And please chime in down in the comments and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or you can counter with your own darn list! Enjoy this Best of Horror Extra!
Released on March 17, 2020. Available On Demand, digital download and streaming on SHUDDER!
aka PROOI, PREY, PREDATOR, HUNT
Directed by Dick Maas
Written by Dick Maas
Starring Sophie van Winden, Julian Looman, Abbey Hoes, Mark Frost, Victor Löw, Ko Zandvliet, Wes Mutsaars, Mike Libanon, Kees Boot, Mamoun Elyounoussi, Rienus Krul, Steye van Dam, Roosmarijn van der Hoek, Britte Lagcher, Rutger de Bekker, Mattijn Hartemink, Lobke de Boer, Alfred van den Heuvel, Peter Drost, Bart Klever, Burt Rutteman, Marijn Klaver, Geoffrey Alkemade, Klaas Bense, Gregory Samson, Laus Steenbeeke, Theo Pont, Tarik Moree, Jaap ten Holt, Mees Slokkers, Pieter Derks, Robbert Blokland, Wijo Koek, Sharon Wins, Nienke van Dijk, Rogier Schippers, Selma van Dijk, Jessica Zeylmaker, Jeroen De Man, Orlando Manuel do Brito, Gonda Haanstra, Rick Kuitems, Has Drijver, Joep van der Zaal, Ron Sleeswijk, Marian Dang, Melline Mollerus, Ab Zagt, Roosje Somers, Patrick Joel Marcelino
Find out more about this film here!!
Dick Maas was the twisted mind behind such fantastic Dutch horrors as AMSTERDAMNED and THE LIFT. Now, he is back with UNCAGED, a monster on the loose movie that delivers all of the right thrills and chills.
Big animal veterinarian Lizzy (Sophie van Winden) teams up with the police when a house outside of Amsterdam is attacked by some kind of animal. Though she identifies the beast as a giant lion, the local police station refuses to believe that such a beast would be roaming Amsterdam and mauling civilians. But when the body count rises, Lizzy calls in her old flame Jack (Mark Frost) to take the monster down. Not impressed with the wheelchair bound hunter, the local police decide to call in their own special forces team, but when they are massacred, it’s all on Jack and Lizzy to bring the beast in before more Dutchmen and woman end up as the lion’s main course.
While I don’t think UNCAGED is breaking new ground, the film is entertaining as hell. It’s your typical wild monster on the loose story that uses clichés found in everything from JAWS to ALIGATOR, from FROGS to DEADLY EYES, from KINGDOM OF SPIDERS to FOOD OF THE GODS. There’s the authorities who don’t take things seriously until it’s way too late. There’s the sending in of experts only to have them decimated and dismembered. There’s the lone scientist struggling to be heard. And there’s the public not paying attention to the rules and going out anyway. Sound familiar?
What makes UNCAGED so much fun is that writer/director Dick Maas has so much fun with the mayhem. There is carnage to the nth degree as the lion does not discriminate in terms of age, sex, or gender when it comes to his meals. Just when you think you’ve been bogged down too long with discourse from a reporter, politician, or expert in the field, Maas makes sure to show an imaginative scene of carnage with heaping amounts of blood and body parts. The characters are fun too with Lizzy deciding whether or not to stick with her philandering boyfriend Dave (Julian Looman) even though he is an asshole who seems to have slept with every girl in town, yet because Lizzy is stressed she continues to sleep with him as a distraction. Rienus Krul plays Brinkers, an uptight and hair-deficient cop who pops Mentos every chance he gets and is the stressed-out middle man between the public and the politicians. And finally, Jack, the one-legged lion hunter who is wheelchair bound, yet gung-ho to take on the beast with his high-powered rifle, a gut full of whiskey, and a souped-up mobile tank as a wheelchair. This is one fun cast to follow and part of what makes even the slower bits interesting to watch.
UNCAGED does have that ScyFy quality to it. There are a few times when the CG is not the best and the lion just feels animated wonkily. Still, because of the aforementioned gore, fun characters, and hyperactive script, I forgave the film for its technical setbacks. I enjoyed UNCAGED so much that I didn’t even notice until the end that they didn’t even explain why there was a lion loose in Amsterdam. While it is a cheap lion on the loose movie, it is an unabashedly watchable lion on the loose movie. Recommended simply for the fun of it all.
THE 2019-2020 EXTRA!
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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