When you find that paintball just isn’t enough…

by Martin Hafer

If you decide to see Preservation, there is a strong likelihood that you’ll find the plot familiar. That’s because it dates all the way back to 1924, with Richard Connell’s story The Most Dangerous Game. A few years later, the story would be brought to the big screen in the classic story by the same name, starring Joel McCrea and Leslie Banks. Since then, the story has been re-written time and time again–appearing in television shows (such as Get Smart, believe it or not) and various movies. So, you cannot exactly give this film many points when it comes to originality.

Written & Directed by
Christopher Denham
Wrenn Schmidt, Pablo Schreiber, Aaron Staton
Release Date
9 January 2015
Martin’s Grade: C-

Like the old story, someone likes hunting. But instead of animals, their quarry is people. The only huge difference here is that you really don’t know who the killer or killers are until the end of the film–whereas in the original story is was some twisted Russian aristocrat. Otherwise, the three victims spend more than half the film on the run–trying to avoid being someone’s trophy. There really isn’t a whole lot more to the story than that.

On the plus side, the film is very tense. Some of the acting is pretty good and despite a small budget, the movie looks good. I also liked the identity of the hunters–this was an interesting twist. On the negative, the film isn’t exactly fun to watch. After all, folks are getting butchered and there isn’t a whole lot of subtlety about it.

I was also irked by a cliché that I often see in films—someone disables their attacker and instead of finishing off the killer, they almost immediately turn their back on them so that they can be murdered. I don’t know about you, but if someone is trying to kill me, I don’t beat them up and then turn my back unless I am 110% sure that they are truly dead. Overall, I don’t consider it a bad nor a good film, but there isn’t enough about it that would have me recommend you go see it. If you hate violent films, there’s also another reason to avoid this one.

I saw promise in Preservation. In the future, I’d like to see these actors and filmmakers do a more challenging project–something with more originality and which allow them to expand on their skills.