When best friends Kim, Tammi and Lisa arrive in Spain for their holiday, the first thing they do is get dressed up to hit the clubs. There appears to be plenty of hours left in the day, but all these girls want to do is have some serious, hedonistic fun. Things start to look up after meeting three lads in a club who invite them back to their luxurious yacht for drinks. With a fourth guy waiting on the boat you just know things aren’t going to go well, and when the lads persuade the girls to let them take them out to sea on the yacht, any means of escape disappears.
But escaping their dreary lives is all that’s on these girls’ minds as they mix their alcohol with entry-level drugs, and the party begins with some swimming off the boat. Followed by some more serious drug and then down below to take things to the next level.
The lads plan seems to be going to plan until the gangsta wanna-be verbally bullies the kid of the group into performing a fabled act, that has dire consequences. One of the girls ends up dead, and the lads begin to panic.
Drugged up to the max, the lads hatch a plan to dump the dead girls body in international waters (weighted down) and call the coast guard and say she fell overboard after having too much to drink. The two remaining girls however, aren’t convinced, and then there’s the matter of the videotape.
Paranoia kicks in to the max as the girls start to fear for their lives and Mr gangsta pushes all the wrong buttons.
As far as survival horrors go, Donkey Punch has it nailed. The plot is perfectly paced, slow to start, introducing the characters, setting up red herrings and lulling the viewer into a false sense of security. Then the hammer falls and the tension is ratcheted up to the maximum. You have absolutely no idea where the movie is going to go next, as things go from bad to worse and you are literally left on the edge of your seat.
Tightly produced and scripted, Donkey Punch leaves you breathless through a clever plot with plenty of twists, rather than relying on the usual sadistic violence and cheap thrills. That’s not to say that there isn’t some extremely gruesome – and gratuitous – gore, but it’s not the main focus of the plot. There’s also a fair bit of gratuitous nudity and sex, though some of it is required to set up the pivotal moment of the film.
All in all, for a single location thriller, Donkey Punch aims high and hits the mark. It’s both stylish, and frightenly believable. It’s also quite probably one of the best thrill rides of the year.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Rating: R18 – Contains violence, offensive language, drug use and sex scenes
Release Date: 12/03/2009
Audio tracks: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround: English
Genre: Horror, Mystery/Thriller
Runtime: 96.0 mins
Format: DVD, Region 4 (PAL)
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1 Widescreen (16:9)