The quote on that poster says "a goretastic and terrifying good time." This film was neither of those things. In fact, this whole film felt like some fresh-outta-film-school circle jerk. I just had to check IMDB to see if this director had anything else under his belt, and not only did he write this, but this is his first feature film with only one documentary listed as his previous work.
Condemned is set in New York city where a rich girl that's tired of her parents fighting in their Hampton's beach front home calls her boyfriend in the city and he says for her to come live with him. I don't know what the age difference is here, but I'm assuming she's 18 and he's in his early to mid 20's just so things are legal. He takes her to his apartment building which is a tenement that is locked and condemned. I'm trying to come up with an pun on the double meaning here with the film being called "Condemned," but I hate puns, so ( INSERT PUN HERE ).
We meet everyone in the building: the super that is just building weird moving sex mannequins, the gay German hardcore S&M couple (that I thought was the singer of Rammstein at first. It wasn't and I'm disappointed.), the Orthodox Jew that left his family for drugs and a relationship with a transgendered woman/sex worker, the shut in/germaphobe, the Chinese guy that has a drug lab and puts his product in fortune cookies to sell it, the new-wave heroin user couple, and our protagonists and their two roommates. The first half of this film was pretty decent as it set up each of the characters and made you more interested in their lives. If this film never hard the "horror" element then I would have liked it more.
Over time everyone in the building starts getting weird boils and blisters and they all start to lose their shit. What I thought was initially a connection error with Netflix was how they see the world when their "rage" is starting to kick in. I use the term "rage" because there's a giant neon "garage" sign with the "ga" burnt out that you see not long before shit goes down. It's obvious foreshadowing and makes me want to steal a large neon sign for in my bedroom. Maybe one that says "nudes," but it might burn out and say "nud" and then I have to make up some stupid story of what "nud" means and why it's cool so my cats won't judge me.
So rage hits, everyone starts killing everyone while our Romeo and Juliet attempt to escape the building. The building itself was locked with bike locks by the drug maker, who was then hit by a cop car and murdered. None of those parts make any sense and I think it was more a matter of "how can I lock them in with this character that doesn't fit the rest of the story I wrote." Gore does ensue, but it's more slime and blisters, except for when one girl gets her head lobbed off with an axe, and another guy uses a four-point buck skull as a weapon. I grew up in the mountains. Don't judge me! Cats! I'm looking at you!
So in the end, the CDC apparently has our rich girl that escapes and everyone else is dead. Then the CDC wants the whole block shut down and that's about it. Really there was no surprise, it was a cliché attempt at making a "zombie" movie where the people weren't reanimated dead but instead chemical freaks.
Like I said, the individual characters were definitely interesting but that all gets lost once everyone is just trying to kill each other. A muscle guy with an axe has been done the death, literally. The skull was a nice touch, and I'm not sure where the transgendered woman got a pipe with a buzz saw blade attached to it, but I didn't care enough to question it.
I give Condemned 1 axe shaped Gene Simmons bass out of 5. Mainly because it's a freshman effort, and the characters where there, but it fell off once the schlock horror execution came in.