While trying to understand a frightening reoccurring nightmare, a pledge is coaxed into breaking into her father's department store by her sorority sisters, where a deranged killer targets the girls and their boyfriends.
Convinced that her father's death was not accidental, a beautiful girl decides to investigate to find out the truth, aided by her boyfriend. Her sleuthing draws her to a local mortuary, where many secrets will be revealed.
Mary Beth McDonough,
Denise Watson is a TV station worker who is the only survivor of a unexplained, horrific airplane crash in which she is completely unscratched. Soon, Denise becomes haunted by feelings of unworthiness as well as seeing strange people following her and hearing voices calling her name which no one but she can hear. Disregarding warnings from a psychic actress friend, Denise tries to get on with her life while it's revealed that she was supposed to die in the crash, but somehow escaped, now the unseen specter of Death wants to collect her by sending its minions, people that have recently died, to kill Denise and finish the job what death had planned for.Written by
Wouldn't this be the ideal movie to show during a 12 hours flight over the Pacific Ocean? It doesn't show an actual plane crashing, but it would make clear to all the passengers that, in case of a crash, none of them is likely to walk out of there alive. And even if you do come out of a plane crash unharmed, your life is still ruined and you're guaranteed to die only a short while later. "Sole Survivor" is a truly obscure and little seen 80's movie that benefices from a forlorn and genuinely creepy atmosphere, but it eventually lacks the necessary shocking-power to be referred to as a legitimate hidden gem of horror. The basic premise holds a lot of horrific potential and it's definitely ahead of its time, but the elaboration of the script is too slow-paced and there's a severe shortage of action and/or gruesome images. With a slight bit of imagination and skepticism, you could state that M. Night Shyamalan 'borrowed' fundamental key elements from "Sole Survivor" before scripting his TWO hugely successful blockbuster hits "Unbreakable" and "The Sixth Sense". How come? Denise Watson, the female lead character here, mysteriously survived a disastrous plane crash without a single scratch AND it doesn't take too long before she sees dead people. Maybe the creators of the popular franchise "Final Destination" ripped of the storyline of "Sole Survivor" as well and, on the other hand, one could state that this film is simply a low-budgeted imitation of the classic black & white milestone "Carnival of Souls" and the unsettling James Herbert novel "The Survivor". Ah what the heck, cinema is just one giant copying-ideas business anyway. The most important thing is that Thom Eberhardt's "Sole Survivor" is a generally solid chiller and admirers of atmosphere-driven terror tales won't regret watching it. Shortly after the crash, the aforementioned character Denise has visions in which recently deceased people uncannily stare at her. Her boyfriend/doctor thinks she suffers from the feared Survivor's Syndrome (meaning she feels guilty for being alive while all her fellow passengers died) but according to a psychic acquaintance, Death itself is warning Denise that they haven't forgotten about her. Eberhardt builds up a creepy and continuously ominous atmosphere and there are several moments of nail-biting suspense, like when Denise encounters the little girl in the hospital's basement. Unfortunately, the script is too often confusing and many of the dialogs are difficult to understand because the characters talk quietly and with awkward accents. If some distribution company ever decides to release "Sole Survivor" on DVD, I hope they'll provide optional English subtitles. The acting performances are adequate, the direction is moody & stylish and the climax leaves open a lot of room for discussion. Overall recommended, just don't expect to see a dazzling and jaw-dropping masterpiece.
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