Main cast: John Redlinger (Roth Young), Jes Macallan (Claire Taylor), Karl Makinen (Burt Goodman), Clare Niederpruem (Courtney), Ryan Zimmer (Luis), Cardiff Gerhardt (Trapper), Ashley Santos (Meeka), Bryan Dayley (Wes), Christina Thurmond (Summer), Jay Pease (Lenny), and Mike Law (Tom)
Director: Greg Kiefer
Roth Young is a young man who answers a summon by his beloved Uncle Burt and Aunt Summer, only to learn that they plan to rope him in as a guide for the latest batch of intake. You see, Burt and Summer along with the somewhat abrasive Claire Taylor run a wilderness boot camp for wayward teens. The entire operation isn’t making much money, but Claire believes that they will be in the black after this latest intake. Hence, they want Roth to come help as they can’t afford to hire a proper guide at the moment. Roth is not keen, as he never fits in among kids his age, and he believes that he will have a hard time earning these kids’ respect, much less get them to listen to him.
Well, they will know who the boss is soon enough, when a monster shows up to take them out one by one, using what seems like an extendible mouth-thing borrowed from those Alien movies to latch on to its victim and drain its body entirely of fluids (hence the title of this movie, Thirst). Fortunately for the others, Roth is a tough kid who learned survival skills from Burt, although it remains to be seen whether his presence is enough to save these people…
Thirst has a simple story, and even if the monster looks like it’s borrowed from Alien with enough changes to prevent a lawsuit, it could still have worked. Unfortunately, the cast is mostly wooden. The adults are okay, and Ryan Zimmer seems to resemble an actual human kid, but everyone else is so stiff and awkward that, were not for their IMDB pages saying otherwise, I’d imagine that these kids were randomly plucked from some bar.
Also, the script includes all kinds of tropes associated with movies of this sort, but it cannot keep its cards close to itself. For example, it’s a common trope that a character in a horror movie will soon die if he or she expresses a desire to go home. Here, this is indeed what happens, but the way the whole thing is executed is so hammy that I can see the character’s death coming the moment this character talks about how it is to go home again. There is no suspense here – everything is so by-the-number and can be seen coming from a mile away. Often, this one doesn’t feel like a movie as much as it is some kind of film school assignment by a very fresh student.
Still, things are never so bad here – this is actually better than, say, some of the offerings on Syfy or from The Asylum, for example. But it’s nowhere close to good. I won’t recommend going out of your way to watch this one, but still, if it does show up on cable or something, and you really have nothing else to do, this one may very well do as a time-killer. Provided that you are not expecting too much, of course.