31 is a 2015 American horror film written, directed and co-produced by Rob Zombie (The Devil’s Rejects; Halloween; The Lords of Salem). The movie stars Malcolm McDowell, Sheri Moon Zombie and Richard Brake.
The film was submitted to the MPAA three times before securing an R-rating, however, Zombie has claimed that he didn’t have to compromise his vision which seems rather contradictory.
‘A first sign of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die. Franz Kafka’
1975: Five people are kidnapped on the days leading up to Halloween and held hostage in a place called Murder World. While trapped, they must play a violent game called 31 where the mission is to survive twelve hours against a gang of sadistic killer clowns…
“Zombie’s filmmaking career began with inventive pop videos for his band White Zombie and he can still frame an interesting shot or layer in an unusual and affecting snatch of music, but after six features he still can’t come up with a fresh story, write characters with more depth than their make-up or direct stalking scenes that are suspenseful or moments of gory violence that are shocking.” Kim Newman, Screen Daily
“With 31 Zombie offers us a more mature take on his tried and tested formula. A commanding performance from Richard Brake and some impressive visuals combine to make this one of Zombie’s stronger works. It is The Running Man Rob Zombie style.” Kat Hughes, The Hollywood News
“There’s a maturity in 31 that shows he’s grown since House of 1000 Corpses in terms of style and – more importantly – as a storyteller since his remake of Halloween and its god-awful sequel. You may not enjoy the characters or the words that come out of their mouths (one feels that Zombie would be better suited directing other people’s scripts), but there is so much to enjoy in 31.” Flickering Myth
“If the point of 31 was to create a homage to low-rent, gratuitous cinema, you can’t argue it succeeds, and fans of Zombie’s traditional grit and gore will find those sensibilities unfulfilled. But those who want a little more brains and heart spliced in between slices and chops will walk away—perhaps as intended—feeling a little bit dirty.” Fangoria
“Littered with white trash characters, killer clowns, eccentric Nazis, profanity-laden dialogue, excessive violence, gritty visuals, his usual stable of actors, and a 1970s Halloween setting, 31 feels more like a parody of a Rob Zombie film than the real thing.” Broke Horror Fan
“31 is the most disappointing movie of the year, a film that promised (at the very least) to be viciously entertaining and bloody as hell—it is a Rob Zombie movie, after all. Except it’s none of those things—the violence (what you could see of it, anyway) is a muddled mess, the characters are irrelevant, and the movie as a whole makes no sense. It’s not even dumb fun, it’s just dumb.” The Missing Reel
“Rob Zombie truly loves horror movies. But he still hasn’t made a good one, and 31 is a perfect encapsulation of the reasons why: It’s a fanboy’s highlight reel of homages, without any of the credibility or context that made most of the films he’s inspired by so fine.” Variety
“Why Zombie felt the need to mask this pile of garbage is unfathomable, though perhaps he knew it was a blatant regurgitation of everything he’s done before, which means everything he’s aped previously. As such, his desensitizing brand of horror wears thin remarkably fast…” Consequence of Sound
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