What is it with screenwriters who want to become film directors? Remember that Jodie Foster thriller Flightplan? Well, the Brit-born writer of that edge-of-your-seat hit has made his directorial debut with the subterranean transit horror Stag Night.
Basically, a group of boozed-up good-looking guys (led by Kip Pardue) upset a couple of female passengers on the New York subway and get maced. After forcing the train to stop, the entire group disembark and before they can utter yet another expletive (it’s the only language this lot know), they find themselves trapped in a disused station which hasn’t been cleaned since Watergate.
After witnessing the brutal slaying of a police officer by shadowy vagrants, the group find themselves in a cat-and-mouse chase through the tunnels trying to find a way to escape their mute pursuers. But this being a slasher, the group are picked off one-by-one in gruesome fashion – but not without a fight it might be said.
Anyone who has seen the 1972 Brit-horror Death Line will recognise Stag Night as a pale imitation to that cult classic. The heroes-slash-victims are cardboard cut-outs (I forgot who was who); the mute vagrants looked like Said out of Lost, but devoid of character; the script lacked any common sense (why were the homeless people protecting the vagrants?); and the death scenes (except for two inspired decapitations) were a let down.
The director, Peter A Dowling, should really stick to what he does best – writing. Even Creep was way better than this. If you want to go down into the tube station at midnight and get a real chill down your spine, then stick to the superior Death Line.