No One Lives (3 stars)

No One Lives

Ryûhei Kitamura's survival/revenge story is a visceral, sick and silly treat for gorehounds

Luke Evans plays the villain for the second time this month (following his turn in Fast & Furious 6)in Ryûhei Kitamura’s jaw-dropping genre thriller. The director, who has a penchant for such stories after making 2008’s The Midnight Meat Train, has called his villain 'Hannibal Lecter meets Jason Bourne' and there’s some truth to this – though it’s hard to claim that Evans’ character (unnamed until the credits, when he’s dubbed ‘Driver’), is anywhere near as urbane as Anthony Hopkins’ cannibal.

After a visceral prologue, involving a young woman (Adelaide Clemens) fleeing through the woods, the plot proper picks up a few months later, as Evans’ character and his girlfriend Betty (Laura Ramsay) are on a cross-country road trip. Arriving at a steak house, they are then harangued by a gang of redneck ruffians, led by the psychotic Flynn (Derek Magyar). Before they know it, they’ve been kidnapped.

Kitamura then delivers the first of a series of shocks designed to wrong-foot viewers; in the aftermath, Driver escapes his captors and proceeds to hunt them down like animals, one by one, until – you guessed it – no one lives. Forget ‘good vs evil’; this is ‘evil vs evil’ – though soon the rednecks are reduced to a quivering, bickering mess.

A survival story, pure and simple, the characterisation is non-existent and the blood flows in rivers. It’ll appeal to the gorehounds with a sense of humour – not least in one staggering sequence in which Evans arrives in the gang’s lair via a rather ingenious transportation system. Think sick and silly rather than shivers and scares.

No One Lives - Red Band Trailer

No One Lives

  • 3 stars
  • 2012
  • US
  • 1h 26min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Ryûhei Kitamura
  • Cast: Luke Evans, Adelaide Clemens, Derek Magyar
  • UK release: 31 May 2013

A gang of killers kidnap a wealthy couple but events rapidly take a strange turn.