There's a few things that drew me to While She Was Out right off the bat, as soon as I heard about it. 1. It's set during Christmas time. I love Christmas and there's really nothing I like more than a movie that has Christmas as a back drop. The music, the decorations, the atmosphere, I love it all. 2. It was executive produced by Guillermo Del Toro. Now i'm sure he really had nothing to do with the actual making of the movie but just the fact that he attached his name to it counts for something, right? 3. It's a revenge flick, and a chick vs dude revenge flick at that. Now that's my shit. Not to mention, it sounded like a pretty cool idea : a woman goes out shopping on Christmas Eve, gets hassled by a bunch of dudes who are out to kill her, so she grabs a toolbox from the trunk of her car and knocks them off one by one at a construction site. Count me in!
Turns out all this hope was resting on the shoulders of a generic, predictable (I literally predicted every little twist and turn in the first 3 minutes), dumb, and downright boring revenge thriller. I was not buying for one second any of the acting (did Kim Basinger really win an Oscar at one point in her career?!) or any of the utterly ridiculous situations. All the kills tried pretty hard to be cool but ended up being lame and as I said, it was all just so boring and I did not care about any of it at any point. It's a simple formula : girl is on the run from a bunch of scary dudes, girl (wo)mans up and kills the fuckers. How does that turn out to be so dull and ineffective? I'll tell ya how ; by taking the one cool aspect of the story, Kim Basinger killing dudes, and making that totally boring, drawn out, uninteresting, and unsatisfactory. I wanted to see her exsanguinate (not only is True Blood awesome but it expands my vocab too!) those fuckers, not simply shoot them in the chest with a gun! It's like a shitty slasher movie that doesn't even have cool kills. What's the point?!
As I often do after watching a movie, I checked the IMDb message boards for While She Was Out and someone made a comparison between it and another film that really caught my eye. The guy said, and he said it in a positive towards this flick way, that While She Was Out is the American answer to Eden Lake. Does that not perfectly sum up the current state of American horror? Whereas the foreigners are laying on the table the raw, realistic, and disturbing side of such a horrific situation, us Americans are more comfortable showing the watered and dumbed down version of events. And While She Was Out is exactly that ; a seriously dumbed down version of a flick like Eden Lake. More palatable to Americans, yes, but those of us who expect more from our movies will not find many merits in this American drivel. If you want real horror, watch Eden Lake instead.