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cast: Ricky Ullman, Diamond Dallas Page, Lin Shaye, Marc McClure, and David Eigenberg

director: Tim Sullivan

89 minutes (15) 2006
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
Starz DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 5/10
reviewed by James A. Stewart
I dunno, maybe I am getting cynical, old or even just plain hard to please, but it feels like every low-budget horror out there just now is pretty much as bland as your average 'Norman'. In the last year I have reviewed some tripe. I mean, total baseless crap. Now it is the turn of Driftwood.

The thing with Driftwood is that it actually contains some recognisable faces, and is directed by Tim Sullivan, whose 2001 Maniacs was met with no little critical acclaim. The cast includes a WCW wrestler, in the shape of Diamond Dallas Page, who plays the camp leader at Driftwood, a centre which claims to transmogrify troublesome boys into wholesome men.

The issue is that all these camps have a dark secret and there is fighting, biting, bullying and other nasty shenanigans going on. Sprinkle a bit of ghost magic dust over the top of this and you a horror set against the backdrop of some little social injustice.

The lead character, David (Ricky Ullman), gets a tad interested in death after his rock-star sibling kills himself by taking too many drugs at the one time. David becomes a bit of a problem and his parents decide to send him to Driftwood for rehabilitation. The only problem with the place is that it is run by Captain Kennedy, (the aforementioned Dallas Page), and the Captain's only real interest is making money - and to this end his methods when trying to control the inmates are tad more physical than you would expect.

Acting in Driftwood is not something that will live with me but there were a couple of familiar faces in David Eigenberg (Sex And The City), Marc McClure (Superman: The Movie), and Lin Shaye (Snakes On A Plane). It is clear that Ullman is the acting talent and, credit where credit is due, Diamond Dallas Page is quite convincing as a baddie, then again he is an American wrestler so arguably he has been acting for years.

The very bland Scots band, Travis, sang about driftwood, describing it as being "hollow and of no use," it feels like it was a pretty prescient statement about this film and kudos to Travis' ability to review films ten years before they are released. If there is ever a film released called "Why does it always rain on me?" I ain't for watching it.

DVD extras are pretty good; deleted scenes, a featurette, web-links and a perhaps most disappointingly, an alternative ending that closes the story off better than the film's chosen one. PS: No Normans were harmed in the writing of this review.

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