The Sand Review (2015)

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Sand Review (2015)

Horrorific content by adrian on June 24th, 2018 | Movie Review | Comedy, Survival, Campy, Teen, Party

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It's about a group of friends who become trapped on a beach after a mysterious creature begins killing anyone who touches the sand it's inhabiting.

The Sand was directed by Isaac Gabaeff  and stars Brooke Butler  (from The Remains), Cleo Berry and Cynthia Murell  (who also stars in Always Watching).

This Beach is Killer

The Sand Review

The Sand, aka Blood Sand, aka Blood Beach  part 2, aka The floor is lava is a fun low-budget Sci-Fi creature feature that's not nearly as bad as it might seem to be on the surface.

The movie opens with a large group of friends partying on the beach, having fun and filming everything on a shaky phone. Cut to the next day and the beach is near desolate, except for a few remnants of the previous night. Cut again to the previous night and the shaky phone catches a few more important details. Cut to the next day and we're presented a few more important (well, maybe not important) details. This form of exposition was short, sweet and effective (primarily because it the shaky dark phone camera footage made the feature film quality outstanding by comparison).

The day after the party we see our large group of friends dwindled down to a very small group. And there's only a few random things laying around to clue us into the missing friends' sudden disappearance. The group that remains are scattered around a few select areas of the beach including in a lifeguard house, in a car, on a picnic table and a in trash can. Yes, the huskiest (by far) member of the group, Gilbert, is stuck in a trash can for essentially the entire movie.

The one thing our remaining group members have in common? None of them are touching the sand.

This is a one location film. And it's a pretty small one location. We're talking maybe 20 sq ft of beach. And none of the characters can leave their little slices of safety. Because of this, all action and tension and suspense are forced. The biggest buildups are when they're trying to throw bottles of water and sunscreen around. Or in one particularly ridiculous scene, when they're trying to open a truck.

The Sand feels like a horror short film that was fluffed out to feature film length. At one point you might find yourself squirming around, ready for something to actually finally happen, but not knowing where that something could possibly come from. Then in strolls Jamie Kennedy (who also stars in Scream 2, Tremors 5 and Tremors 6) to save the day, both literally for our stranded group and figuratively for us viewers. His comic relief makes the movie, he adds a spark at just the right time. He also reveals the big "secret" to escaping the beach which is one of the funnest parts of the entire film.

So, yes, it's true that The Sand isn't as bad as it might seem. But, that doesn't mean it's not bad. It's supposed to be bad, so bad it's good right? And it is. But man, the director Isaac Gabaeff really walked a fine line. There's several points in the movie where you can't be entirely sure if what you're watching is satire or if it's actually supposed to be serious. There's a particular sub plot involving a strained relationship that leaves you scratching your head.

Oh, and then there's the CGI. It's abysmal. It's so bad it's amazing. It's laugh out loud bad.

If they made The Sand 2 with just Jamie Kennedy, trash can Gilbert and more terrible CGI I'd be first in line for the screening.

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