Stag Night finds four friends out on the town for a bachelor party. When the guys, along with a pair of exotic dancers, get off the subway at an abandoned station, they encounter a group of hungry cannibals. The group of six ends up in a fight for survival as they attempt to exit the intricate system of subway tunnels and escape from the voracious cannibals.
The performances in Stag Night are not the great. Vinessa Shaw and Sarah Barrand’s performances as the exotic dancers are among the weakest of the bunch. Neither one of them ever quite lets the viewer forget that they are acting. Kip Pardue and Breckin Meyer are slightly better as Mike and Tony, respectively but none of the performances are particularly high quality.
Peter A. Dowling (Sacrifice) both writes and directs this 2008 horror film. His script is not necessarily bad. It offers up an interesting premise and setting it in a subterranean locale adds a claustrophobic element. However, the subject matter isn’t exactly revolutionary. It’s a bit like The Hills Have Eyes in an abandoned subway station. That premise could absolutely have worked if the performances had been stronger and the characters more compelling.
One of the downfalls of the script is that none of the characters are very well developed nor are any of them all that likable. When the primary players have no depth and aren’t relatable to the audience, the viewer’s attention is likely to wane. The lack of enjoyable characters is partially made up for by some of the film’s intense action sequences but the picture never quite strikes the right balance.
Dowling’s direction is average or maybe slightly below. While he manages to build a certain level of ambiance at times, the bad acting interrupts several of the more intense sequences. This left me feeling unsettled and like I could never quite suspend my disbelief long enough to really enjoy the film.
The level of carnage is one of the stronger aspects of Stag Night. The bloodshed appears early but not necessarily often. With only six core cast members, the maximum body count is five (assuming there is a survivor). And that would be fine if the film were more character driven or if it really excelled at anything other than carnage. Since the FX work is the best thing about the film, it is a bit disappointing not to see a larger death toll.
Stag Night bears some strong resemblances to a couple of other films. It has a surprising number of parallels to The Midnight Meat Train. Both flicks are set in the subway system after hours and feature an antagonist that operates out of an abandoned subway station. When comparing side by side, The Midnight Meat Train is definitely the better of the two films.
Stag Night is incredibly derivative of the Christopher Smith film Creep, which was released three years prior to Stag Night. Creep takes place in an abandoned subway station, after hours, with an inbred killer on the loose, which is quite like the skeletal outline of Stag Night.
If you haven’t seen Stag Night, you don’t need to rush out and watch it. Die-hard fans of the inbred cannibal sub-genre will probably find something to like about it but this flick is certainly not going to be everyone’s cup of tea
Wicked Rating: 3/10