Scarred (2005)
MTI Home Video
Cast: Julian Berlin, Maxine Bahn
Extras: Commentary Tracks, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Music Video

About three quarters of the way through Scarred, I found myself physically squirming in my seat, watching in utter shock as a pretty, young female loses a hard-fought battle with a grotesque, backwoods monstrosity. Unraveling in slow, unflinching detail, it's the type of scene that proves the filmmakers know how to tap the elusive power of the horror genre with gory panache.

If the film was able to elicit a few more standout scenes like the one described, it could have easily become a cult hit. For this reviewer, the erratic pacing of "Scarred" is another major hindrance, which is a shame, because the premise – a delightfully wicked tale about a woman who roams the woods in search of a pretty face to replace the vacant hole where her own was brutally torn off – has huge potential.

In the opening moments we're subjected to an unconvincing scene of a couple making out before one of them is killed in an even more unconvincing manner. We then cut to our main characters, a family embarking on an outdoor excursion that decide to set up camp in the exact same woods that the face-ripping female likes to call home.

After an incredibly long flashback, as told by a park ranger to set up the creepy legend about the nutty woman in the woods, the movie drags on even longer as we get to know the characters: A mild-mannered father, his second wife, his spiteful daughter, her friend and his carefree son. The family's interaction and tension feels natural but it's far from being even remotely interesting and serves as empty padding to stitch together the paper-thin storyline. Numerous and meaningless conversations inside tents and along hiking trails are painful to watch but thankfully, the women cast in the film are incredibly easy on the eyes so the horrific acts they endure take on a much higher degree of intensity once the proverbial doodie hits the fan.

Despite an obvious shoestring budget, "Scarred" looks quite good from both a filmmaking and DVD perspective. Inventive camera angles and moody lighting are supported by solid 16×9 image.

The DVD release also includes Director's Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Interactive Menus, Scene Selection, Trailers, and Optional Spanish Subtitles.

Even with its questionable pacing, "Scarred" has its shining moments and is worth a look if you're on the prowl for a quick and campy, horror fix.