Melina (Marika Sila), a paramedic, and a group of other people wake up in an upside-down ambulance. Shocked and surprised, Melina and the other survivors attempt to recall what happened to cause the ambulance to flip and crash. Melina recalls she was in the middle of transporting a prisoner to a prison facility. Thankfully the prisoner is still strapped to the bed, alive and well.
But as Melina assembles her small group of survivors consisting of cops and other medics, the group is suddenly attacked by an unknown threat from the bushes nearby. The threat seems to be a large hairy creature with a thirst to kill. With no signal on their mobile phones and stuck in a ditch, Melina has no choice but to survive the night, doing whatever it takes to get home safely to her young daughter.
Ditched is best described as a violent horror film with moments of mystery and thriller. For those who enjoy a horror film that contains large quantities of blood and gore, Ditched has you covered. Many moments did manage to either shock or surprise me with the level of violence, reminding the audience that anything can happen in this film. The gore and blood work was completed with what appears to be practical effects which was a nice touch.
As a plot, I feel the film has a great concept which I truly admired and adored. From the opening, it’s evident that a tragic accident had occurred, but many other questions and mysteries are soon introduced, grabbing my attention early on. The mysterious threat coming from the woods was also a fun concept, even if I found where the twists and turns were headed predictable.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest issues I had with the film was the performance. Many characters deliver random, cheesy, over the top dialogue in ‘their moment’ or are only present to help with the body count. At times, the top performances felt weak, bland, or even vague. One example of this is when we see something being killed, and the reaction from some of the actors is shocking (and not in a good way). In essence, top performances feel emotionless screen and uncaring with their line delivery, which felt unfitting considering what was on screen. It was a shame to see because everything else around the film, including its fun visuals and concept, was strong. The film had the potential to deliver something far different.
Overall, Ditched has a fun and mysterious setup, which leads to high-level violence and gore. The concept and plot are excellent, and I truly adored them. The creative use of lighting and costumes is pleasing and fun to see, but the top performances weaken the film. They come across as unconvincing, weak, and emotionless- almost as if we were watching cut scenes from a video game. Those who love films such as Assault on Precinct 13 combined with a few violent and gore aspects like what we see in a Saw film will certainly have a great time watching this and find plenty to appreciate. Ditched (2021) is now Available at Monster Fest 2021. For more information and session times, please visit https://www.monsterfest.com.au/australia/