Film / Carver

Screaming only excites him.

Carver is a 2008 Slasher Movie, a hybrid of Hillbilly Horrors and Torture Porn.

Set to go off to university soon, Pete Hoskin decides to drag his younger brother, Bryan, off to the secluded wilderness of Halcyon Ridge for some sibling bonding (no, not in that way). Joining the two are Pete's immature friend Zack, and his flighty girlfriend Rachel, much to Bryan's annoyance. Meeting up in a roadside store called the QG, the group are approached by the proprietor, a friendly old chap named Billy Hall Carver, who offers them a night of free drinks if they can get some supplies for him from the storage cabin near their campsite; he can't do it himself due his bum leg and his obese, troublesome, manchild relative and only help, Bobby Shaw, being given a talking to by Sheriff Jack Quixley, you see.

Agreeing to the deal, the group set up their site, and after meeting a fellow camper named Kate (who is out on her annual camping trip with her friend Gina, who seems to have vanished) head up to the cabin. Deciding to have a look around while gathering the QG's needed wares, our characters discover a hidden cache of film reels, one of which they play on an old projector. Lighthearted riffing turns to unease when the amateurish slasher film the reel contains becomes a little bit too graphic, depicting the disturbingly realistic mutilation and murder of campers and hikers in a forest very similar to the one they are in.

Quickly putting the reels back and leaving after hearing someone approach, everyone (except worrywart Bryan) decides to put the disturbing film behind them, and after dropping off Billy Hall's stuff, get into party mode with their limitless supply of booze, though shit hits the fan when Zack gets into a fight and heads to an outhouse to clean up. While wiping off the blood and taking a dump, Zack is castrated and captured by Bobby Shaw, the slasher movie's killer and creator, who has big plans for Zack's friends, the unknowing stars of his next big picture.

I'm ready for my close up, Mr. Carver.

This film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Accidental Murder: Kate crushes Zack between two vehicles, and stabs him in the head with a hoe, thinking he was Bobby Shaw.
  • Agony of the Feet: Rachel steps on a nail.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Some severed limbs are found strewn throughout the bottom level of the Carver cabin.
  • Bar Brawl: Zack gets into a fight with a patron of the QG.
  • Based on a Great Big Lie: The film claims to be based on fact, though all attempts to look up similar crimes to those presented in the film have turned up nothing.
  • Car Fu: Kate hits Zack (thinking he was Bobby Shaw) with Pete's van, and slams him into Zack's car.
  • Cool Shades: Zack and Rachel, and of course the only law enforcement official.
  • Corrupt Hick: You can honestly tell just by looking at them.
  • Creator Cameo: Co-producer Jaye Lowe and FX man Paul Coldblatt both have bit parts.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: A drunk Rachel wanders off into the woods in search of Zack.
  • Downer Ending: Sole survivor Bryan has his throat slit by Billy Hall after killing Bobby Shaw. Depressing, but at least it's not a full blown instance of The Bad Guy Wins.
  • Drop the Hammer: Rachel gets whacked in the face with a regular one, while Pete is bashed to death with a sledgehammer.
  • Ear Ache: While struggling with Bobby Shaw over the shotgun, Bryan gets an ear shot off.
  • Evil Cripple: Billy Hall, who walks with a cane.
  • Fingore: Bryan gets a door slammed on his fingers.
  • Flashback Echo: Footage of one of the snuff films is shown as Bryan discovers the spot where it was filmed.
  • Humiliation Conga: Zack gets punched in the face, is forced to use one of the filthiest toilets in existence, realizes there is no toilet paper, gets covered in shit, has his balls crushed with pliers, and is finally mistakenly killed by Kate while dressed as Bobby Shaw.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: In one of his snuff films, Bobby Shaw somehow hooks a fleeing man in the eye with a crowbar attached to a rope.
  • Improvised Weapon: After shackling Zack to the wall of the outhouse, Bobby Shaw picks up the toilet and drops it on him.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Getting shot right in the chest with a shotgun certainly slows Bobby Shaw down, but it doesn't kill him. A knife to brain remedies that.
  • In-Universe Camera: Despite the presence of snuff films, it's rarely seen.
  • Kill 'em All: By the end, every named character except one is dead.
  • Knee Capping: Rachel has nails hammered into her knees, while Bryan gets his stabbed.
  • Laughing Mad: Bryan, while watching some of the snuff films near the end.
  • Machete Mayhem: What Bryan's throat is slit with.
  • Mad Artist: Bobby Shaw apparently views himself as an actual filmmaker, and sees his "character" in the snuff films as the hero.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: How Sheriff Quixley was killed isn't shown or mentioned, but judging by the condition of his body, it was probably pretty bad.
  • Oh, Crap!: Bryan, when he realizes the snuff films aren't always in Bobby Shaw's POV, meaning he is passing the camera off to an unseen accomplice.
    • This was probably the mangled Bobby Shaw's thought when he tries to blow Bryan's head off with the shotgun, only to discover it's out of ammo.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: Once again, only in the R-rated cut.
  • Self-Harm: Implied with the scarred Kate.
    "Sometimes we gotta cut ourselves to make sure we can still bleed."
  • Siblings in Crime: Presumably, the exact relationship between Billy Hall and Bobby Shaw is left a bit vague.
  • Sinister Scraping Sound: Bobby Shaw dragging his saw across the ground while advancing on Gina.
  • Sinister Scythe: A snuff film shows one of Bobby Shaw's victims attacking him with one.
  • Snuff Film: Bobby Shaw's passion, though he is also fine with killing people sans camera.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In-universe, we have Bobby Shaw adding a cheesy country tune ("Turkey in the Straw, Hee Hee Haw...") to all his films.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Bobby Shaw at first seems to be mute, but then he randomly speaks when he attacks Kate after she discovers she had accidentally killed Zack.
    "Don't you worry about him none, he was just mah stunt man."
  • Torture Cellar: Though it doesn't seem to see much use.
  • Torture Porn: The film's examples of mutilation includes pliers to the balls, a nail hammered into a bodypart, then wrenched out and hammered in again.
  • Urine Trouble: While tormenting Gina, Bobby Shaw pisses on her.
  • Villain Opening Scene: Bobby Shaw cutting the still-living Gina's head off with a saw.
  • The Voiceless: Bobby Shaw only talks twice.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Courtesy of a drunk Rachel.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Sheriff Quixley seems to be in on what the Carvers are up to, but then is later found dead, leaving what was up with his character ambiguous.
  • With Cat Like Tread: After hearing someone in the woods:
    Kate: (cautiously whispering) "Zack?"
    Rachel: (drunkenly) "ZAAAAAAAAAAAACK?!"
  • You Look Familiar: What appears to be the same black jacketed man dies in at least three different snuff films.