Legends of the Hidden Temple was scarier
Happy Mardi Gras everyone! Some people refer to it as Fat Tuesday, but if you're an American, it should just be called Every Day. What better way to celebrate Mardi Gras than with a horror movie set in Ireland and involving reanimated bog spirits. Wait, what? Okay, I admit it. I didn't know today was going to be Mardi Gras so I didn't tailor my viewing to the holiday. I'm sure there are horror movies that involve Mardi Gras, but as you can see, the day doesn't mean that much to me. Feel free to throw some beads at me anyway. WOOO!
Legend of the Bog, also known as Assault of Darkness, stars Vinnie Jones (X-Men: Last Stand, Snatch) as the aptronymically-named Hunter and Jason Barry (Beyond Re-Animator, Mirrormask) as archaeologist Professor David Wallace. David is an expert on bog bodies, ancient mummified remains found in the bogs of Ireland. David's new assistant Saorse Reilly is not impressed with him, but accompanies him as he travels the countryside. During their trip, they hit a cow, and have to walk. At the same time, developer Val Leary arrives at her near-by construction sight where a bog body has discovered. Rather than dealing with the authorities and losing money, she orders the construction workers to dump the body and leaves the sight with her taxi driver, Deano. Also at the same time, two travelers, Hannah and Mallory's car breakdown and they start to travel on foot. All parties converge on a small, seemingly abandoned shack and agree to stay the night. The dumped bog body has become reanimated and stalks the local area, killing people and searching for water, which keeps him alive. The shack actually belongs to the aforementioned Hunter, who arrives and is none too pleased. The group is soon killed off one-by-one by the creature. Hunter knows how to defeat it, but will he be able to save the rest of the group in time.
What's Gaelic for "BOOBS!"?
The best way to describe Legend of the Bog is a big resounding “meh”. It's not bad, but it doesn't really have anything special going on. With the exception of Jones, the cast is pretty much annoying at all times. I know some characters have to be so they can get killed off, but when the main characters are just as unpleasant, the audience doesn't feel any fear for the safety. You end up cheering for the bog monster, who is portrayed as being helpless and almost lovable at times. That would be fine, except I'm not so sure that's what the movie had intended to happen. There's a few decent scenes of violence and blood, but not really enough to keep me entertained.
The story itself isn't anything special. I appreciate that they went in a slightly different direction involving bog people and Irish history, but I feel like it was too much like Frankenstein. Dead creature coming back to life, confused about the world around him, fire is bad etc. All of that was done in Frankenstein. Besides some questionable originality, there was one scene involving Hunter's way to defeat the creature that required so much foresight that he either broke the fourth wall and read the script or is omnipotent. On a side-note, I was happy to discover that a zombie shown in the very beginning of the movie is actually Sheamus from WWE. And to top that off, his character is named the Celtic Warrior. Wresting marks rejoice!
Legend of the Bog isn't a bad movie, its just nothing special. A bland, played-out story and mediocre acting makes the movie feel longer than it really is. Vinnie Jones does deserve some credit as he is as awesome as always. It lacks in violence and fear, the cornerstone of horror movies. While not an “avoid at all cost” movie, it shouldn't be on your “must see” list either.