Survival is a Killer.

96 min     5.6     2002     USA


A disgraced FBI agent with a drinking problem joins nine other troubled law enforcement officers at an isolated detox clinic in the wilds of Wyoming. But the therapeutic sanctuary becomes a nightmarish hellhole when a major snowstorm cuts off the clinic from the outside world and enables a killer on the inside to get busy.


John Chard wrote:
You're real good at kicking them when they're down, aren't you? Sly Stallone stars as an FBI Agent who turns to drink when the love of his life becomes the victim of a crazed serial killer who has been targeting cops for death. So struck by the tragedy, he is coerced into signing up for a rehab programme at a remote asylum facility, but soon it becomes clear that the serial killer is still in his midst. Famously delayed from being released for quite some time, D-Tox is like an itch on Stallone's CV that he will never be able to scratch. In truth it's quite serviceable as a formulaic thriller, but it's so derivative and, yes, dumb, it's hard to recommend with any sort of confidence. Any number of thriller films you have probably seen will spring to mind when viewing this, but in short it's like a "10 Little Indians" meets "The Thing", with a side order of "Seven" thrown in for good measure. The first half is actually well built by the makers, establishing Stallone's emotional chaos, his dive into the bottle, and then setting him up in an institution that is frighteningly monolithic in a grey and steely way. His co-patients are all troubled coppers in search of a dry run, and this also sets things up neatly for some rich characterisations, unfortunately it all descends into cliché hell and wastes what is a rather superb cast - while Stallone unfortunately shifts from a believable tortured soul into a muscle head with a gun. Cest la vie! Good moody atmosphere and some heart jolting deaths keeps the pic on the boil, but ultimately the pandering of the norm renders a promising thriller to being distinctly average. 5/10