So last night I headed out to catch an 11:45PM showing of this flick. I guess I'm officially a sucker for these reality-ish shakicam videos (for now). I probably I have been ever since Blair Witch which to this day remains one of the top scares I've ever had in a theater. And even though I dug this flick I have no desire to see it again. There is something amazingly disposable about shakicam movies. Like somehow they're not real movies. Because one time is always plenty. I feel the same way about this movie as I did about the Batman and Robin ride at Six Flags. It was sort of exciting but I left feeling nauseous and stupid-- and although had fun for a bit... I knew there was no reason to ever experience it again.
Here's what that was like:
That being said, I got a decent kick out of this flick! The good news is it is beefed up pretty healthily with shock seconds! I jolted in my seat probably five times (and one time was truly a creepy blamo that sent my heart going). Which I dug. The overall experience was very helped by me being in with the 11:45PM crowd that was yelling at the screen pretty much non-stop. Fortunately, it was a loud murmur of yelling and there wasn't an ego-driven jokester who tried to control the room.
Yadda anyway, the story with this flick is a news crew duo (camera and host) does a ride-along with a fire department to an apartment complex that had some old lady acting weird in it. They get there and things go wrong and they find themselves locked inside by the outside world of cops and government-- because the place is considered a BNC (Biological, Nuclear, or Chemical threat). So they have to hang out locked in and deal with stuff on their own. Figure it out while fending off the infected. Gotta like that setup.
Bad news is I was constantly distracted by the stupidity of everyone involved. Obviously there's some sort of disease outbreak but they stand next to the people with foaming mouths discussing how the disease may be spread. I wouldn't be hanging out figuring it out! I'd be in my apartment with all my furniture against the door holding a golf club in one hand and a bat in the other! Screw those guys! Let them play friggin Dr. Hardy Boys and do their research! Also it got to be a real stretch at time that the guy would be filming filming non-stop. Not even putting down the camera to fend off a biter. I'da dug the reality more if the camera was just on the floor for a while. But this guy went so far as to use the camera as an actual weapon. (which was kind of coolio)... but really after the 8th lens-to-face smashy smash-- I really had my doubts about the indestructibility of the camera. But all that crap has to be put aside as per expected.
Blah blah this is the kind of movie you can sit and nitpick at all day if you feel like it. The chick was way annoying for the first 15 minutes. I was looking forward to her getting chomped. The strategery of the residents was eyerollingly bad. The whole 'biting' thing is getting to be yawny and the shakicam hook is getting shakier shakier. But if you dig horror and have the stomach for a camera whirling around for an hour 20 or whatever. Might as well do this to yourself and get it over with. Get em while you can while the gettings still 'pretty good'. Because I'm betting were about to be hit with a slew of this handheld crap-- and chances are they'll suck worse and worse as they try to find hooks within this shaky hook.
Three Good Things About this Movie
- Conceptually had a nice undertow of dread.
- I thought the lead chick did a nice job of getting increasingly terrified.
- The old lady introduction to the disease gave me the creeps.
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- Here's an idea! Don't stand next to the person with the foaming mouth!
- All side characters barely mustered a personality and deserved to die.
- When it got frantic toward the end it felt forced and silly.
All in all, if you're a horror fan this probably will play surprisingly well. It should be seen with a loud noisy audience. Preferably screaming girls. But it does make me worry about the horrorible future considering this is where it seems to be going. I get a kick out of these shaky things --but I don't think they're deep level scary. Nothing scares me more than a good ghost story... and I'm realizing now that it's been a really long time since the Hollydopes cranked out one of those. And the last thing I really want is my slow paced creepy ghosty to be amped up on shakicam steroids-- just because they know it'll fill the audience with screaming girls.
PS. If you thought this review was lame and boring... I did too.