Staying Alive: PRESERVATION (2014) Review

Two days ago I watched “Preservation (2014)” on Netflix for the first time. This movie is written and directed by Christopher Denham (Home Movie). The cast includes Wrenn Schmidt (Outcast), Pablo Schreiber (The Manchurian Candidate), Aaron Staton (Mad Men) and Cody Saintgnue (All Cheerleaders Die). My hopes weren’t that high for this movie to tell you the truth, but it was sitting in my Netflix queue for a long time. The low ratings certainly didn’t Two days ago I watched “Preservation (2014)” on Netflix for the first time. This movie is written and directed by Christopher Denham (Home Movie). The cast includes Wrenn Schmidt (Outcast), Pablo Schreiber (The Manchurian Candidate), Aaron Staton (Mad Men) and Cody Saintgnue (All Cheerleaders Die). My hopes weren’t that high for this movie to tell you the truth, but it was sitting in my Netflix queue for a long time. The low ratings certainly didn’t help with building up any excitement either. It’s a good thing that I managed to avoid watching a trailer for this movie beforehand though.

Preservation is a slightly above average effort in the “survival horror” subgenre. The acting performances are okay at best, with the exception of the talented Wrenn Schmidt. The two male lead characters in this movie are some of the dumbest characters I’ve seen in horror movie history – period. Who in their right mind decides to turn their back to the killer after just knocking them out for two or three seconds? I was intrigued by the killer(s) in the first act, but everything about that aspect fell through the cracks when the masks were taken off and the motive was assumed. That bit honestly turned me off. I did however like the design of the masks. I loved the way this movie was shot even though I noticed some “shaky cam” here and there. The cinematography of the landscape looked pretty and helped with elevating the story to a higher level and makes you forget about the clich├ęs.

The script is for most part disposable and it’s evident that the makers didn’t even try to be any different than similar horror movies. This movie has a short running time and the pacing becomes fast as things get more suspenseful. The soundtrack is excellent and succeeds in giving off a nice retro vibe. The ending is predictable, but gives the audience closure. Preservation is a fairly by the numbers survival horror movie that offers more style than substance. I don’t think I’m planning on watching this movie ever again. I’d still say it’s worth watching once on Netflix for the die-hard horror fans, but you might want to maintain realistic expectations.

–Ferdi Akkulak