Mercenaries. Bioengineering. A Cold War bunker. A deadly creature. Add those all up and you have the makings of a decent horror film. Canadian filmmaker Matthew Ninaber’s (Transference, Extraction Day) Death Valley, which is now streaming on Shudder, is a scary and largely one-man show. Ninaber not only directs but he wrote the screenplay and is the creature. Guy certainly has passion, a vision and plenty of energy!
With nothing to lose, a group of former soldiers who now earn money as mercenaries, take on a job locating and rescuing the one remaining bioengineer being held in a Cold War bunker. The group, led by Beckett (Jeremy Ninaber – Best Friends From Heaven), arrives at the bioresearch facility she (Kristen Kaster) is being held at but things will not go smoothly as they soon discover they will have to wage battle against an unknown creature. The only thing they do know about the creature is that it is highly skilled at killing.
Total mayhem of the monster/creature variety is what you can look forward to here. If you are in the mood, it is a lot of fun. The creature will remind film fans of the muscousy creature from the Alien films. It is a gruesome looking creature that seems to have some of its innards on the outside. While it no way near approaches the level of the early Alien films, it is still a worthy watch. Sharp eyed film fans will also recognize some influence by films like Bad Boys, Hacksaw Ridge and Resident Evil.
Though this is most certainly a low budget affair (a couple of the airlift sequences gives that away) the end product does not suffer as a result.
Ninaber knows what he wants to do. He wants to gross you out while delivering a couple of one-liners and some surprisingly decent action sequences. Does not pretend that this film is going to be anything other. I also did enjoy the fact that it just goes for it. It does not hold back. That is even though it is a rather ambitious mash up of a horror, monster and action film. Lots going on, but I never felt like it was too much.