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Pool, The (2002)
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by Scott Weinberg

"Generic low-rent slasher knock-off...that actually kinda delivers the goods"
3 stars

As this most recent upsurge in the teen horror genre draws close to its inevitable death rattle, you're bound to see some sloppy little latecomers hanging about your video store shelves. If you thought the slasher sub-genre could possible get any more low-rent than the "Urban Legend" flicks, you’ve got a lot of low-budget horror movies to check out. One of the more stylish stalker knockoffs comes in the form of a rote yet goopy gore flick known as "The Pool".

Filmed in Prague and featuring an international cast of unknowns, The Pool is quite simply about partying teens who get slaughtered. Trust me, if there were ANY unique or new shadings added to this predictable horror flick, I’d gladly share them with you. But what The Pool lacks in originality (and acting skills) it halfway makes up for in sloppy grue and a few truly creative kill scenes.

It’s Graduation Eve in Prague, and the upper-crust of International High School have the perfect spot for an impromptu gathering: a local indoor water park that’s absolutely overloaded with Jacuzzis, swimming holes, water slides, and twisting filtration systems. Once the dozen or so teens lock the doors behind them, the slaughter is on. There are several scenes in which the pampered bastards pontificate on how awful it would be to be poor, which makes things all the more entertaining once the carnage begins.

So it’s a fairly crappy movie, but here’s what all the gorehounds want to know: Should I see this movie? To that I’d say yes, but only to those who adore the entire Friday the 13th series, and can look past a new flick’s painfully obvious “inspirations” and just focus on the mayhem at hand. Stealing quite a few pages from the Scream flicks, The Pool does manage to offer a handful of truly bizarre kill shots. (One involves a blonde, a water slide, and a long metal sword, and it easily ranks among the wackiest murders ever included in a slasher flick.)

Literally nothing in The Pool is new, but if you grew up on the stalker flicks of the 1980’s this one should appease you for 90 minutes. The best the no-name cast can offer is a veritable salad bar of warring accents (I counted Australian, English, American, Irish, and German; a few were just indecipherable), up until their respective death scenes, of course. Though The Pool isn’t a really hardcore slasher movie, it’s a somewhat entertaining and comfortably familiar return to the body-count films of yore. (Yore being about 1982.)

Artisan Home Entertainment has done a pretty decent job with this flick, delivering the main feature in an attractive Widescreen Anamorphic presentation. Special features include a theatrical trailer (which spoils the movie's best scene), a photo gallery, and ten minutes of rather banal interviews with a few cast members.

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originally posted: 05/02/04 18:22:21
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User Comments

12/29/06 David Pollastrini all the women in this film are hot! 3 stars
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  24-Sep-2002 (R)



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