LIVE ANIMALS tracks a group of friends as they are kidnapped and tortured by a pair of twisted horse breeders looking to turn a quick buck with their new breed of livestock. The film capitalizes on the success its "Torture Porn" predecessors (most notably HOSTEL and WOLF CREEK), but relies entirely on gratuitous violence, gore, and nudity to justify its existence in the absence of character development or originality. The buying and selling of human trade comes sickeningly close to Eli Roth's earlier imagining, modified only slightly by the fact that the captives are treated like animals rather than people. Despite the low budget, Jeremy Benson does employ a decent use of color filters to heighten the aesthetics and mood, while exhibiting a strong sense of stylism adapted from the film's obvious influences. Though the acting remains passable considering the scale, the biggest failing is that the audience is never given the opportunity to bond with the characters, which leaves the emotional response void in each of their deaths. As a veritable low-budget remake of the HOSTEL "Torture Porn" model, it will appeal to some hard-gore fan bases, but it does not escape its own amateur production and derivative plotline.
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