I do love Rob Zombie, both as a music creator and as a director. His movies are nice figments of insanity, gore and occasionally really stupidly fun humor. This movie has a little bit of all of those things, yet manages to fall very flat. There is one saving grace though, and that is Richard Brake.
31 plays out like most of Rob Zombie’s movies. A rag tag of people travelling out by the American countryside. They are happy, sing songs, drinks and are just having their time of their lives when suddenly, weirdos attack them and they wake up in a large unknown building. In this weird building they are forced to play a harsh game of survival. Rob Zombie really seem to like the trope of the cat & mouse game. Almost to the point that it gets stale.
The best way to describe this film would be if Saw had a baby with his sister and made weird deformed babies. These babies grew up to be pure rednecks with the longing for rednecky murder. On paper that sounds like an absolute dream. Somehow that dreams shatters into some bloody gravy dropped on the floor of a KFC down the interstate.
The characters are annoying to the point where, I honestly just wanted them all to die in that building. There is no good guy to cheer for, no likeable character to feel bad for when he/she dies. There is nothing about these characters that is enjoyable. Until Richard Brake comes down from the heavens, with his pure unfiltered insanity. Every scene with that man is pure psychotic bliss. He portrays an unhinged murderer like few other actors can even dream of. If his presence wasn’t such a central point of this movie I would not even bother with a review.
To sum it all up. This is a Rob Zombie dumpster fire. It is formulaic by Zombie standards, it has boring characters, some good gore I’ll give it that and finally just more of the same redneck stuff. I have seen this movie, time and time again. If it weren’t for Richard Brake and his great performance there would be no good thing about this.
Watch it drunk, preferably redneck drunk. Oh and watch Halloween instead, it’s a much better Zombie movie!