THE AGGRESSION SCALE (Anchor Bay, 2012) D: Steven C. Miller, w/ Ryan Hartwig, Fabianne Therese. Rating: NNN; Blu-ray package: NN Rating: NNN
One of the producers in the making-of doc calls The Aggression Scale "Home Alone meets Rambo." Halloween would have been a better choice.
Twelve-ish Owen (Ryan Hartwig), who battles adult thugs, has the iconic slasher's expressionless, focused gaze, wordlessness and particular way of standing and staring, all of which put him in the running for the scariest hero in movie history.
While Owen and his dad, along with his brand-new stepmother and her daughter, Lauren (Fabianne Therese), are unpacking in their new isolated country house, a quartet of thugs are killing their way through a list of people who might have stolen their boss's getaway money. When the two groups meet, Owen unleashes his talent for violence.
The set-up drags a bit, but the action is brisk and plausible once it gets going. Owen likes blunt instruments and simple traps. He's vicious, but sensible enough to run away and young enough to make mistakes. His opponents come across as ordinary working men, no better equipped to deal with pain than anybody else.
Aggression Scale largely gets by without money shots involving blood squibs and pointy things going into flesh. Occasionally, their obvious absence is slightly annoying. I suspect the omission comes down to budget, given the tiny crew and limited equipment on view in the moderately interesting making-of doc. Everyone seems to be having a wonderful time, though.
EXTRAS Making-of doc. English, Spanish audio. No subtitles.