The Victim is an American Horror/Thriller Grindhouse film from 2011 written Reed Lackey and Micheal Beihn. The Victim is directed by Micheal Beihn, to break the ice, he with his cast and crew he film the love scene with his wife first and arrived on set stark naked.
The Victim tells the story of Kyle Limato (Micheal Beihn) who while at home in his mountain cabin when he interrupted by screams for aid and banging on his door from Annie (Jennifer Blanc). Annie quickly informs Kyle that she’s fleeing a group of men that are trying to kill her and have already killed her friend. Annie reveals that she’s being pursued by a pair of police officers Jonathan Cooger (Denny Kirkwood) and James Harrison (Ryan Honey), who her friend Mary (Danielle Harris) was seeing. While having sex Harrison kills Mary and elicits the aid of Cooger to cover it up. Annie overhears their conversation and flees. Kyle tells Annie that he won’t get mixed up with the law and offers to take her to town. But before he can convince her to go the officers arrive at Kyles home. As Annie is hiding Harrison questions Kyle if he’s seen Annie. After the officers leave Annie convinces Kyle to go Marys grave as proof as well as get evidence against Harrison. When they arrive at the murder site Marys body is missing and the only remaining proof she was there is an earring. After returning to the cabin Annie comes on Kyle and the two find their way to Kyles bedroom. After having sex, Kyle excuses himself but after waiting for a while Annie goes in search of him. While looking around his place she’s grabbed by Harrison, who plans to use her as bait for Kyle. Kyle gets the jump on the two of them and renders Harrison unconscious. Kyle takes Harrison hostage and questions him on his story. After getting the truth from Harrison, Kyle forces Harrison to take him to Marys Body. While Kyle is out with Harrison looking for the grave Annie stays back at the truck. Unable to find the grave the two return to the truck and are caught by Cooger. Harrison gets Cooger in on his plan to return the cabin leading to the film conclusion.
So first off Micheal Biehn does a great job in the directors chair. He understands the medium well and spends the films runtime very well. As there’s very little wasted screen time with my only gripe being the constant driving scenes. Which, while serve their purpose grew a tad monotonous. Micheal Biehn was inspired to make this film after a meeting with Robert Rodriguez. During which Rodriguez suggested that Biehn makes his own grindhouse film.
The story has a very strong pacing with things always moving forward. There’s a few moments of slowdown, but its barely noticeable and last for very brief moments of time. There’s repeated flashback scenes between Annie and Mary that start to grow old after a while. But other than that, it’s solid.
Another point I wish to address is the solid script. While its no masterpiece, given that fact the Micheal Biehn only had 11 days to write the script and do all the post production it’s very impressive. Followed by the strong performances by the cast, it turned out incredibly well.
So final opinion time. Strong acting, solid pacing and good storytelling. That said, it always felt like the film was holding back and it could be easily argued that it is. That it foreshadows on subplots and the ending meaning of Kyles final monologue. So The Victim is a film I can easily recommend to fans of grindhouse films or horror films that aren’t very gorey, The Victim gets a much deserved 8/10.