The makers of Necrosis were not attentive to detail.

It’s telling, perhaps, considering that the mess of discontinuity that follows, that the very first image of Necrosis has a great big mistake in it.

For the record, the Donner Party did not get snowbound and turn to cannibalism in a Nevada town named ‘Sierra’. The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range that runs through California and Nevada. I had thought this was common knowledge, but it escaped at least one person in the filmmaking process – whoever added the title – as well as every person who saw the film after that point and approved the image.

But that’s far from the film’s biggest problem. No, Necrosis’ biggest problem was with incredibly uncooperative weather. The film’s plot concerns a group of friends who head up to a cabin in the Sierra Nevada (built suspiciously close to the Donner Party site of a hundred and fifty years earlier), then wind up snowed in and trapped with one of their number, whose schizophrenia makes him an easy target for the ghosts that haunt the area.

So, considering how vital it is to the plot, it’s kind of unfortunate that they were unable to get a plausibly large amount of snow to convince audiences that the characters were anything approaching ‘trapped’.

Here are the friends standing around the car, talking about how bitterly cold it is. Without visible breath. It’s actually funnier in motion, where the audience can see their awkward attempts to mime ‘shivering’.

Those two characters are standing in the kitchen, complaining about the blizzard conditions going on outside the cabin. Sadly the evidence clearly visible through the window doesn’t match either the characters’ dialogue, nor the woman’s close-up:

Note that this is just a case of inept filmmaking. If they’d framed the wide shot slightly differently, or just switched off the outside light, we’d never have known the difference.

The actual line that preceded this shot? ‘The weather seems to be getting worse.’ You know, worse than the blizzard conditions of the previous day. How could the editor have possibly chosen that above shot to follow the preceding line?

This scene is meant to demonstrate just how ridiculously snowed-in they are. Because no one could ever drive with an extra two inches of snow atop their car. And that section of the image I’ve noted? It’s kind of hard to see in the screenshot, but that’s the pile created when you plow two inches of snow to the side of a road.

Here’s a weird one – observe the frozen caretaker:

Pretty buried in the snow, right? Now check out the hole left when his body mysteriously disappears:

Odd, right? That before he either got up as a zombie or was dragged off by ghost cannibals (we never find out what happened) that the time was taken to move his frozen arms from beside his chest out into the stereotypical ‘snow angel’ position.

And now, the worst shot of them all – in the scene depicted below, two men have decided to play a game of foosball in the cabin’s game room. The filmmakers were clever enough to avoid filming out the windows. Why didn’t they? Because this scene was clearly shot towards the end of the schedule. We know this because, while they didn’t give us a clear look out the window, the filmmakers neglected to remove a highly reflective wall hanging…

Yup. Grass, leaf-covered trees - this scene was apparently filmed so far from winter that I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that it was added way later in an attempt to drag the running time across the 70-minute mark.

Here’s something that filmmakers don’t seem to know. The script is not inviolate. I’m not saying you can throw things around willy-nilly, but you can’t be so in love with your words that you prioritize them over conditions on the day. If the weather isn’t quite giving you what you need, it’s just a matter of rewriting your story a little. The filmmakers’ refusal to change a word leaves the audience unable to suspend their disbelief.

We’re asked to believe that the characters can’t get ten miles to the nearest major road (with its attendant traffic, phones, and stores), because the snow is too deep for their truck. That’s all well and good, but it’s clearly not so cold that they couldn’t just walk it – hell, Michael Berryman, a middle-aged giant, makes the trip in the dead of night, wearing nothing but a windbreaker:

Oh, and then he got shot.

So what were they complaining about? Hell, if they didn’t want to walk, they could have just taken the three snowmobiles they have that serve no purpose in the plot:

Snow a little too deep for a truck? This is the exact condition you should be snowmobiling in!

What’s infuriating about this movie is how easy all of these problems are to fix! You want us to believe the characters are stranded? Take away their snowmobiles. You want to make us think it’s too far to safely walk, don’t have a character walk up there with no apparent difficulty.

Would these changes have possibly lowered the film’s running time to around 60 minutes? Sure – but that’s where writing new character scenes comes in. This isn’t a film with any fear of long boring interpersonal conversations that never go anywhere. Hell, there’s a woman who has spooky dreams that are neither prophetic nor any way relevant to the plot!

Or, you know, they could have added something genuinely scary. That might have worked too.

If they ever get another chance to make a movie, I’d suggest that the filmmakers ensure that it’s written a little harder than this one was.

Fun bonus images!

In one section of the film two of the characters are going over a scrapbook listing all the atrocities that took place in and around the cabin. In addition to the obvious question – who compiled this scrapbook, and why – I just wanted to offer they key image they present from it.

Why is the front page of a Chicago newspaper reporting on a murder in Nevada? I mean, maybe they’d report a sensational murder, but a giant banner headline? Really? What’s going on with the dropped letters from ‘plan’ and ‘strike’? Also, you know that you’ve done a terrible job of scrapbooking when the only part of the headline you’ve preserved is ‘Trapped With’. The characters talk about the sensational murder happened in the ‘40s, but the Chicago newspaper is from 1934.

I don't know why I expected such a mediocre film to have acceptable props - hope springing eternal, perhaps?

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