Review: ‘Aunt Rose’ (No One Gets Out)

Three sociopaths invade a suburban home to terrorize the family that lives there; one bedridden family member isn’t going to take it (or them) lying down.

Johnny (Joshua Nelson), along with his pals Robin (Velocity Chyaldd) and Stewie (Kevin T. Collins), are thugs on the run from the law. Debbie (Elizabeth Cooke) is a collage dropout living at home trying to get along with her parents. And Debbie’s Aunt Rose (Marty Gargle) is a sickly woman that spends her days happily wasting away in bed content with the knowledge that Debbie is a healthy young lady with her entire life ahead of her. All that changes when Johnny and his pals force their way into Debbie’s home and threaten the family, but Aunt Rose isn’t too worried; she is a witch, after all.

No One Gets Out is a demented little film shot on a shoestring budget intent on furthering horror entertainment and making no apologies for showing things that will never get past the MPAA. The special effects sometimes work and sometimes don’t, but all of them are generous and gratuitous. There are missed opportunities along the way, but the overall result is a fun, horrific success.

The film introduces a creepy Aunt Rose secluded in her bed reciting nursery rhymes (always a nice start) followed by opening credits with melted and damaged dolls looking like abused and battered infants (which we really never learn anything else about). Unfortunately, the film is really about Johnny and the role that the writer/actor Joshua Nelson has provided for himself, and while his part is important, we never quite see or find out enough about Aunt Rose as we’d like. Actress Marty Gargle (as Aunt Rose) with a little haggardly makeup is enough to make you grind your teeth at the sight of her, because we’ve all known relatives that seem to linger with their illness for years.

Instead, all we learn about Rose comes from the interaction between Debbie and her mom (played by Christine D’Amato). We also learn how bad Johnny and his pals are with a few sadistic but unmotivated kills, just enough (or maybe more than enough) to understand just how screwed up these people are; since the innocents aren’t really what’s being featured, it’s the thugs that needed to be the most interesting. Once everyone gets together in the house, that’s when we get to see where all of it was going; it might have been a better idea to start with the thugs breaking in, then creeping it up the introduction of Aunt Rose after while the family is terrorized.

Since the film is actually a supernatural thriller, things start to fall apart for our thuggish victims at the same time the film starts to come together; the best effects, editing, and onscreen bits are all in the last fifteen minutes of the ninety-minute running time. Once Aunt Rose starts making her presence and influence known, the film really finds its pace and comes together very well, even packing a few surprises before the heavily foreshadowed but nonetheless clever conclusion (you did read the film’s title, didn’t you?)


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