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SX_Tape [Blu-ray]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
When you have a director who has made an iconic horror movie in the past, you certainly have to check out his future projects. After all, lightning has struck more than once for many directors in Hollywood. So when I realized Bernard Rose, director of the infamous CANDYMAN back in the early 90s, was making a new film, I knew I had to jump on it. CANDYMAN was a nice dose of terror, and I hoped Rose could pull off the same with this one. Unfortunately, SX_TAPE falls way short of anything resembling horror, and the result is a lackluster film that is as confusing as it ridiculous.

I wanted so badly to like this film. The fine folks at Well Go keep putting out hit after hit after hit…but I guess every company misses the mark every now and then. Sadly, such is the case with this film.

SX_TAPE is shot in the typical found-footage style, with a personalized POV and shaky camera angles. This is not a bad thing at all, as those two aspects are a big part of what make found-footage films so fun. But the rest of the film fails in every other area, and thus forces the movie to sink into oblivion territory.

The acting is ok, although the characters themselves are arrogant and annoying. They go out of their way to push societal limits and see how stupid they can be without getting busted. Like having sex in the dressing room of a nice clothing store; they do get caught, which forces them to run, but they end up stealing something as they leave! See the kind of people they are? So why in the world would I care about them when bad things start happening? This is a huge flaw in the film, even more so when two of their friends show up. If I can’t connect with the main characters or feel anything for them, why should I continue to watch?

The plot of SX_TAPE is a ho-hum storyline that we’ve seen in countless films. I wish screenwriters would move out of the abandoned-hospital setting and into something original. Not to mention the shooting location of the film…I swear I’ve seen that same building used in four other horror films.

Which brings us to the storyline itself. Much of it doesn’t make sense, and what does is not very good. There are many questions that struck me when I was watching. When Jill starts begging Ian to take her home, why would he turn around and follow her back into the hospital once their friends show up? And why would her friends want to go in there when they see how upset Jill is?

Pushing that aside, the final scene makes NO sense whatsoever. It tries to be shocking, and I suppose it technically is…however it doesn’t fit with anything else in the movie. I shook my head when the credits started rolling and was actually glad to see it end.

SX_TAPE is not a film I can recommend, unless you are starving for rehashed found-footage concepts. I am disappointed with director Rose, and I hope he chooses better material in the future. This film is available now if you want to give it a look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Jill (Caitlyn Folley) is alive at the beginning of the film. We know her boyfriend Adam (Ian Duncan) is dead...thank you Bernard Rose for the plot spoiler and her two friends are missing. Jill doesn't know what happened. The film consists of a tape that Adam made to sell Jill's art.

If you don't like looking at Caitlyn Folley, then this film is not for you. We watch Jill paint nudes and pose naked by her window for strangers outside. While driving around they espy an abandoned hospital for pregnant girls. They opt to go inside and scope it out as a place to do an art exhibit while holding a Rav.

Jill is typically spontaneous, bubbly and sultry but is a bit tempered in her judgement. BTW I liked the right hand snake tattoo. Once inside we see a personality shift. Through a series of circumstances, their friends Bobby and Ellie join. Jill's personality changes as she seems to become possessed.

The horror aspect didn't happen until near the end of the film. Up to that point it was just odd noises. The film seemed more pornographic than horror. There is footage of a woman who is tied down being groped. Another instant we see a woman's head bobbing with a male hand on top of it. There are several instances of sex while clothed and a pixilated male organ that didn't make any sense.

With the hand held horror genre running out of ideas, sex is the next way to make a quick buck.

F-bomb, sex, nudity (Caitlyn Folley)
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on July 24, 2014
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
This is a pedestrian found footage movie. It seems that film makers are still chasing The Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity with very hit and miss success. There are some creepy moments and the atmosphere in the asylum (?) is pretty good, especial considering the majority of this was done during the day. As with most lower budget horror flicks the movie falls down on the script, interesting characters and the lack of funds (?) to create some really cool makeup effects etc...

Had the film taken place at night and there were some cool makeup or and video effects and a more interesting script and characters (does this sound redundant?) the film could have been quite scary and fun. It seems that cool and fun horror flicks are super scarce. This may be worth checking out on Netflix streaming to kill 75 minutes, as far as a purchase I would pass.
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Format: Blu-ray
I'm not afraid to admit that I rather enjoy the "found footage" genre. There have been some gems in the genre, like "Grave Encounters," "Haunted Changi," and "V/H/S," just to name a few. Lamentably, this film didn't make the cut, in my opinion. There was some rather gratuitous nudity and sex, but the main character, Jill, was a caricature of a "free spirit." She was ridiculously immoral. The few scares were rather cookie-cutter.
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Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Great movie. I wasn't too sure with a name like SX_Tape, cause I mean would this be a la stupid celebrity sex tapes? I get enough of that from just living. But I ended up purchasing this movie (at a way cheaper price than Best Buy) and it's actually not half bad. It has a solid story, which was surprising. If you collect movies based on the abandoned Linda Vista Hospital, add this to your collection, now!
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Format: Blu-ray
Again, I’ll start with this for the uninitiated: I tend to like found-footage-format films … so, if you don’t, then you might want to already head out to explore someone else’s review. This isn’t to say that I’ll automatically give a film of this sort a high rating; rather it’s only to make the reader aware that because I like them I tend to spend a bit more time defending the merits of the story than you probably want to hear. Now, that said, SX_TAPE really is little more than much of the same; however, at its core, there’s a terrific little presence worth your time provided by actress Caitlyn Folley. So if you’d like to know more, then hang on for this brief pause …

(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you’re the type of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)

From the product packaging: “Jill’s an artist. Ian’s a filmmaker. And their love is off the chain. There’s no experience too wild, no dare too dangerous – not even when Jill lets Ian stray her to a gurney in the abandoned hospital they’re scoping out for their next art show. But he shouldn’t have left her alone. Not even as a joke. Now, Jill’s hookup with horror has awakened something in that place. Something with a lust for more than flesh.”

Yes, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT has wrought something unto modern cinema that many folks long tired of, but as SX_TAPE reminds those prudes we’ve certainly come a long way (baby) given the fact that we’re now trafficking in found-footage-sex! Though there’s obviously some hyped appeal around such an idea, to suggest that SX_TAPE only capitalizes on skin would be a disservice … for there is a great performance in a wealth of set-up delivered by relative newcomer Caitlyn Folley. She’s shows us an artist who almost naughtily down-to-Earth, willing to bare all for her budding filmmaker boyfriend who’s far too obsessed with capturing her on film when he ought to be holding her in his arms for good measure.

In the picture’s (roughly) forty minute set-up, Jill welcomes the audience in to her world (hint: there’s an obligatory set-up with a police detective from the beginning that honestly should’ve been left on the cutting room floor). She shows us her life, her art, her apartment, her attitudes, … her boobs. (Yes, fanboys, they’re in here, too.) And she does so in such a way as if to inebriate us with her very presence. After all, why else would any man with half-a-brain follow this lovely devil into an abandoned hospital? For – have we forgotten? – all abandoned hospitals are indeed haunted! Always have been. Always will be.

Once the film segues into those haunted hallways, it honestly stops being all that interesting (yes, it’s still full of thrills and chills, and there’s a particular effective scare wherein the audience knows things have gone decidedly wrong for Jill). Because this has been done before – I can think of three found-footage-flicks set in abandoned hospitals I’ve watched in just the last year – there really needs to be something vastly more novel or inspired than what writer Eric Reese left in director Bernard Rose’s capable hands. Otherwise, the scares become increasingly predictable if not downright pedestrian.

In fact, there’s a little coda (an epilogue) tacked on after the legitimate footage found that serves as the bulk of SX_TAPE’s story, and precisely because it’s tacked on really cheapens the story that came before. I won’t spoil it for you, but I’ll just say that more than anything having this little sequence perhaps shows that the film really wanted nothing more in its tank than that joint appeal of found-footage AND sex tapes. That’s a honest shame because the Jill from the first forty minutes was vastly more interesting than the Jill who shows up for this feature’s last 45 seconds … and I’d much rather spend more time with her, largely owed to Folley’s honest and earthy performance.

SX_TAPE (2013) is produced by Aeroplano and La.Lune Entertainment. DVD distribution is being handled by Well Go USA Entertainment (seriously, they have a terrific catalogue of titles). As for the technical specifications? Well, again, I hate to beat a dead horse but this is a found-footage-format flick, so you can expect all of the good and the bad that traffics hand-in-hand with similar productions, including the herky-jerky camerawork and occasionally muffled miking. Lastly, if you’re looking for in-depth special features then you won’t find them here, but there is a nice 20-minute making-of short that feels more like a bloated advertisement than it should.

(MILDLY) RECOMMENDED. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me as of late (or is it the films?), but when it comes to these found-footage-format flicks I’m honestly having more fun exploring the characters than I am the plot. This isn’t to say that SX_TAPE offers up great characters necessarily worthy of further study; it’s just that the central conceit of the picture – the big scares included – just aren’t nearly as interesting as the work being performed in the set-up. Maybe that’s a bit of evolution for the format. Or maybe it’s just me looking for good things in the wrong places.

In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Well Go USA Entertainment provided me with a DVD copy of SX_TAPE by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review; and their contribution to me in no way, shape, or form influenced my opinion of it.
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on October 16, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
This incoherent mess of a film was extremely disappointing. It alludes to much, but doesn't really explain itself. I wish it were a "by the numbers" found footage film. It would actually make sense then. Sex shouldn't be thrown in to distract from a lack of plot. I was never scared. I just wanted it to end.
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