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Pool, The
Directed by Boris von Sychowski
Country Germany
Year 2001
"...an overlooked genre classic."

Plot: Graduating students of a international school in Prague have an after party at an indoor swimming pool. They are stalked by an insane killer sporting half a skull for a mask. Is the playboy who organized the party the killer or is it someone else entirely.
The killers' identity is unknown but not really cause for much speculation. This could have worked just as well with a nondescript madman on the loose.

The killer, the final girl, the cannon fodder, Cops and authority figures
Speaking of madmen the killer in many ways is similar to the second most famous madman on the silver screen Jason Voorhees. They share the same sense of humor, his mask although a skull looks almost like half a hockey mask and his weapon of choice is also a machete. And who can argue it's a slasher fans dream weapon.
As for the rest of the characters none of them are annoying. Even the romantic entanglements don't really bother anybody. Not that I noticed more than one character for the first half hour or so. Because that's how long I needed to get over the fact this German slasher flick stars James Mccevoy.
Costner, Brad Pitt and many other a listers starred in slashers flicks before him. But still as this came as a total surprise and the surprise never really wore off. Apparently at that age he was even more James Mccevoy meaning his mannerisms aren't as subdued as they are now. As for the rest of the cast, although the European accent immediately casts a cloud of second rate actors over them, they do a fine job.

Gore & suspense:
The Pool offers the audience both gore and suspense. The victims aren't all easily dispensed with several victim give the killer a chase some even fight back. All of this is good for suspense and first time director Boris von Sychowski knows how to build suspense in other scenes too.
The movie isn't drenched in blood but there are definitely some nice kills. If you enjoy a good kill The Pool has plenty to offer.

Location and tools
The location lends itself perfectly for several original murders. Although the killer mostly sticks to his weapon of choice he also uses the environment in several of his murders. And the indoor swimming pool is a location rife with opportunity.

Yes what about the nudity? This is a European production set at a swimming pool nudity should be rampant right? The answer sadly is no, even the bathing suits aren't too revealing. The movie isn't completely devoid of nudity some bit actress flashes her boobs at the beginning of the flick but the rest of the cast appears to have had iron clad contracts. The female cast is good looking but audience members with in interest in men rather than women seem to be better served as there are plenty of bare chested men on display.

Slasherness and cliché's:
It's Graduation day and a killer pops out of the woodworks. That's something that has been done before, it even was the title for a slasher flick “Graduation Day”. Graduation is a good reason to give a party and every slasher flick needs at least one party scene and a reason to get everyone in one place.
There are some kills we've seen before but some original ones too. The Pool doesn't break any molds but for a movie that sticks within the genre limits it does try not to repeat too many cliché's. And refrains from referencing the classics.

The Pool obviously has its detractors but razorreel calls this an overlooked genre classic. Somebody please give this a Blu Ray release the presence of Mccavoy should make it profitable at least.
The Dutch DVD under review has some minute long interviews with the cast and the director a nice extra fpr a lowbudget release.


Item added : 16/5/2017

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