Why, oh why does Hollywood have such a hard-on for first-person horror films? I mean, we get it. The Blair Witch Project was a novel film both for its premise and the manner in which it was shot. Let the actors film themselves and never actually reveal any monsters. It worked, but now with Paranormal Activity, Paranormal Entity, Paranormal Incident, Paranormal Senior Orgy, Paranormal Anal Polyp Surgery... it is beginning to get tedious.
Especially when that is all you really have going for you.
Ooh! The actors jumped! Wow, something flashed across the screen! Gosh, it is scarey in the dark!
Wait, no it isn't. That is probably this films biggest flaw. It isn't scarey. The stings come so fast and frequent that you quickly get used to them. Every door slams shut, every corner has a shadow that moves out of site as soon as you round it, something goes "bump" down every dark corridor. You spend the film waiting for the reveal that never arrives.
|Thank you, Ms. Underwood, for sharing your inner slut with us.|
So, let's deal with some problems. I really appreciate Nadia Underwood's contribution to the film. Her scenes were the finest of the entire project. Which one is she? She's the girl in the gratuitous sex scenes. Now, I LOVES me some T-n-A in a horror film, but what we are watching is supposed to be an evidence reel which was edited together for the sake of establishing a time-line. Why are the personal sex-ploits of the stereotypical jock-stud from three days prior spliced into the film? Other than it gives his Barbie Doll that he brought with him a reason to catch him cheating and split from the group, it serves no purpose to share with us. You could have simply referenced it through the dialogue, and then have the break-up scene carry it the rest of the way home.
Sure, we wouldn't have been able to watch Ms. Underwood's magnificent fun-bags bounce fro-and-hither, but the continuity of the film would have been maintained.
|60 of the 82 minutes is this right here.|
By the way. That scene and that scene only is why this film has an 'R' rating. What little gore there is you barely have an opportunity to see, and it is just some spattered blood. At least this production company realized that an 'R' might sell a little better than a 'PG-13'.
Next, why is Base Camp always some location deep in the bowels of the mental hospital? Why is Base Camp not right at the entrance, in case something goes wrong and you need to quickly get out and get help? This place, the "Bates Motel"...
...Sorry. The Odenbrook Sanitarium, only has one entrance and/or exit as far as the group knows. I would think that you would camp out right there. Hell, you would bring one person to act purely as the door-stop, and let him sit with the entrance open and his body impeding any possibility that it would be closed.
|They're creepy and they're kooky...|
Next, watch the scenes were they show the Base Camp, especially during the day. All the windows are barred or have fencing placed over them and the Mystery Gang is desperate to find a way out. They try every window and find them barred and locked... EXCEPT THE TWO GIANT WINDOWS WITH THE BOX AIR CONDITIONERS DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF WHERE THEY ARE SITTING! Hello? One good kick and gravity pulls those cheap, heavy bastards to the earth below, leaving you with a GAPING OPEN WINDOW TO CLIMB THROUGH!
Way to think that one through, set-guys.
|Aw, that's nice. She's a donor.|
Finally, everyone knows that the shit has hit the fan. Daphne is toast. Fred left Velma to fend for herself. Fred, Black Shaggy, and Smart Daphne all haul ass and meet up at the exit gate, outside the building in the bright, shiny, halogen lamp-light. They are in a cage made of fence, but they are in the open air. You are all freaked out and confident that death awaits inside the Spooky Mansion. Fred says Velma is dead. You know what you do?
Accept it, and start screaming for help. Scream your fool heads off, and stay in the nice, bright light outside the hell-house. Don't be Black Shaggy and Smart Daphne and run back in for Velma. And, Fred, when you hear the voice of Daphne who just appeared to you in a hospital gown with her grill all fucked-up and moaning "braaaaains", don't go back in after her just because you hear her calling your name. Scream for the police, and let the cops deal with that noise.
This film does offer one other, mildly interesting twist: the Government covers this kind of thing up. If our Government is this woefully incompetent, we have bigger things to be concerned about.
If you see this film, it should only be as a instruction video on what not to do when exploring a potentially haunted building.
Jason Sorrell is a writer, tattoo artist, satirist, artist, and generally nice guy living in Austin, TX. Shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org