According to cdc.gov, over 3,500 people were fatally, and unintentionally, drowned between 2005 and 2014. I stress “unintentionally,” because one has to wonder just how many people died in pools, during that same recorded span of time, via machete-wielding maniac under the water slide. My guess: millions.
Of course, there’s only one movie I know of that had the guts to address that disturbingly omitted statistic. Yes, I’m of course talking about that classic German teenage slice-and-dice, The Pool.
The Pool! The Pool! The Pooooool! It just sounds so damn ominous. A pool of blood? A pool of snakes? A pool of tears? Nope, just the old rec center chlorine pit where all the aged members of the floatie brigade and the hairless Michael Phelps wannabes go to practice the art of submersion. Only on this particular night, a bunch of hormonal college grads have it all to themselves, where they’ll indulge in a Tijuana cocktail of booze-fueled aggression, risky sex, and machetes to the groin. See there’s one uninvited guest who’s obviously pissed off that his invitation got lost in the mail, so he’s thrown on a skull mask and invited himself.
The most fun one can have with this movie is playing the “hey I know that guy” game. The cast includes James McAvoy (X-Men First Class, Split), Isla Fisher (Confessions of a Shopaholic, Hot Rod, and real life wife of Borat), and Jan Vlasak (who of course made us all incredibly uncomfortable as the touchy-feely German businessman turned serial killer in Eli Roth’s sophomore opus Hostel).
Anyway, despite some shaky dialogue delivered by actors to whom English is not their native language early in the film and the anger you’re sure to feel as 4 healthy young males find it exceedingly difficult to climb into a ventilation chute no more than 6 feet off the ground, the flick keeps you pretty entertained. The killer obviously sat in the front of the class when Jason Voorhees was hosting a surprise lecture on machete-swinging and he’s got a bit of Chucky’s relentlessness when it comes to taking incredible abuse and continuing his bloody rampage like the boss of a killer he is. There’s some brief but noteworthy T&A for all the immature adolescents who intend to chapter bounce or fast forward through the film. With that said, it’s safe to say The Pool delivers all the tropes and tribulations you’ve come to expect from the slasher sub genre. However, I can’t help but think our murderer would’ve been a little more productive without clunky buckled motorcycle boots and leather pants. I mean, his killing ground is, after all, a pool. Not a great choice in swimming attire Skull Face. 2.5 out of 4 stars.