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The Pool
cast: Kristen Miller, Elena Uhlig, Thorsten Grasshoff, James McAvoy, and Isla Fisher

director: Boris von Sychowski

89 minutes (18) 2001
Mosaic VHS rental
Also available to rent or buy on DVD

RATING: 5/10
reviewed by Jeff Young
Without a doubt, there is something grossly exploitative, if not quite inherently misogynistic, about the subgenre of slasher movies - and yet filmmakers around the world keep producing them, and the appetite of video renters for the same old stalker and screamer formula is undiminished by 25 years worth of slice 'n' dice action.
   The Pool (originally titled, Swimming Pool, aka: Der Tod feiert mit), is a German production filmed in Prague, and plays like a largely serious version of Scream. When school's out, a bunch of kids break into an aqua park on a dare and for a lark. They're so busy enjoying their after-exams party, and each other, that when the inevitable machete madman starts hacking the squabbling teens into a gory mess, it takes half an hour of blood loss and 'where's so-and-so gone?' questions before any of the remaining potential victims become alarmed. With a killer dressed in black, wearing a skull-like mask, and an escape attempt through a claustrophobic air vent, this cobbles together action sequences and dramatic twists lifted from the back catalogues of Dario Argento, Tobe Hooper, and Steve Miner et al, and trundles out its stereotyped characters and clichéd situations with alacrity.    "We're locked in!" The undisguised fact of its randomised slaughter storyline makes The Pool of negligible interest to discerning horror fans, but as fodder for bored video renters it may satisfy less demanding viewers. Isla Fisher (of Scooby Doo) is the only recognisable name in a cast of almost unknowns. If you go for the sort of film where the missing and presumed dead heroine unexpectedly pops up at the last moment just in time to save her imperilled best friend, then this one's for you.