2012: Curse Of The Xtabai
May 16, 2016 § Leave a comment
There is some points where I don’t know if I regret doing reviews that is related to my past ones really because reviewing one dumb movie by The Asylum is one thing but reviewing another 2012 exploitation movie? Well, I can admit that it’s not by the company this time around so what am I gonna look at this week? 2012: Curse of the Xtabai, a movie made by Matthew Klinck whose notable work is 2008 minor cult classic Hank and Mike and a bunch of stuff. This movie is also notable for the first to be made entirely in Belize and that place there has few movies filmed there before like The Dogs of War and Alien Origin.
And this is the paragraph that gets somewhat awkward since I don’t know how to take this. 2012: Curse of the Xtabai is also the director’s last movie since he passed away at January of this year at Belize. Now I’m just gonna point out that if I offer some criticism, that is my intention prior to finding out about his passing and anything I said that might come off as negative is only towards the movie and not towards the late filmmaker. I mean, he might be a nice guy back when he’s alive and if anything, the intention of this movie is not by cash cow or related standards so Matthew’s reason for the movie is his dream and passion so by respect, I am only just looking at the product and see if it’s good or not good in my personal opinion.
With that out-of-the-way, let’s see how this movie fares. Following the opening credits that reminds me on Film Ventures International opening credits to movies seen in Mystery Science Theater 3000, we meet protagonist Nehandra (Nehandra Higinio) who’s a teenage high schooler who work up from her nightmares that might seem like premonition. She watched news reports of a nearby cave explosion and then tell her mother (Miriam Antoinette-Ochaeta) about the dreams and those dreams might relate to the legend that is the Xtabai. She is off to school and some strange virus is breaking out around the town which includes one of her students to went in seizure vomiting experience. Meanwhile, her brother Tommy (Tomas Fabian Serrut) is burning up and mother takes him to the hospital before the soldiers arrive to cover the roads and be alert.
The mother is walking to school to warn Nehandra about this but the soldiers warn her to not take a step and she did so she got killed by the army, all witnessed by Nehandra and her schoolmates. Thinking the cave and Xtabai is really happening, she decides to find archaelogist John Jones (Arran Bevis) in the bar and offers money to take her and her buddies to the cave to stop the chaos that’s going around. He agrees and together, they decide to go on the journey that revolves walking, checking stuff in the woods and hiding from the army. Also, Jones have a secret agenda since he wants one of the statues as payment for his life. That one of the statues is enough to stop the Xtabai by the way.
They kept on the journey and along the way, they have a swimming montage (no joke) and two female students having a catfight (again, no joke) before few died under the power of the Xtabai (Shelley Glionna), the remaining survivors along with The Maestro (Jim Goodchild Arnold) and mayan elder known as Mister Nic (Nicasio Coc) to retrieve those statues. However, The Maestro sense something and the Xtabai turned him into a corpse while Jones found one of the statues and stabbed Ian (Ian Flowers). Nehandra took that statue off him and along with the other one, Mister Nic prepares to do a ritual that stops the Xtabai and its virus outbreak once and all for all. However, Jones has none of this and wants to take the statue but he got killed by the only two surviving high schoolers in the cave.
The ritual worked, Nehandra and the two high schoolers walk back to their town and Nehandra finds Tommy alive and not sick ending with her being the only relative taking care of the kid. Okay, I gonna give some positive notes here. While it is hardly a 2012 exploitation vehicle (note that 2012 is referred to as a plot point), it is an okay shot-on-digital horror vehicle that took place in a country that’s hardly filmed so that’s something. And the acting is by a bunch that are first timers in acting, I give kudos to Nehandra and Arran for this and while they are not high-profile actors, maybe they’ll act again in a future movie. The only other positive is a unique storyline and a surprisingly good soundtrack (except for one song that’s heard in one of the premonition scenes) so that’s all I could give for positives.
And is there any negatives to follow? Well, it is not an awful movie by any means but there is a bit of cheesiness in there, notably the acting of the soldiers and the Xtabai’s appearance. If anything, I could see Matthew doing a B-Movie type horror and it’s understandable since filmmakers have a passion for schlock, just look at James Franco doing one about the making of The Room or Tim Burton looking at Ed Wood’s life. It is also dragging a bit with one montage and few scenes and sadly, I might have the feeling that I may not watch this again after this review.
Then again, I haven’t seen a bunch of other films following its reviews and I forget a few so is this memorable by many means? In a way, yeah since I never looked at the last movie of any director before (except maybe Scott Harper but moving on) so is an experience I have gone to. If you like obscure horror movies and wanna look at something you never seen before, this is worth checking out and it will depend if you like it or not. I myself don’t mind it and didn’t hate it so with that Matthew Klinck, you may not longer be with us all but at least gave me a movie I might not forget so here’s to you sir.