31 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2013
I wish I could give this movie five stars. I really do. I love the idea of a manifestation of human evil, coming alive through one of our greatest tools. I love the examination of "trolling" behavior and how it looks when people take that attitude into the real world. I love the idea of the extremes we can go through when we have the advantage of anonymity. And I love the idea of humanity being just a step in the evolution of something truly terrifying.
That being said though, the movie itself is a mess. Most of the actors are good, but the script is a jumbled mess. The dialogue is so overly-dramatic and jarring. It sounds to me like the writers spent a lot of time researching the inner-working of internet communities and personalities in a textbook, but never actually bothered to go online.
I enjoyed the reveal towards the end and thought it made for a very good ending, but the actual last couple of minutes were a little disappointing and predictable.
I think the filmmakers have some great ideas, but could really use some more time at the drawing board, trying to figure out the execution.
I give it three stars for the effort, because I am very impressed with the idea behind it, but I'm willing to admit that it's a generous rating, considering how the whole thing actually panned out.
51 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2013
When I first heard about this movie, I was very excited. The trailer looked scary as hell, and the premise was new and original for the slasher subgenre within horror. The mask was awesome (and still is), plus, Keith David (John Carpenter's The Thing, They Live, There's Something About Mary) was in it, how could it be bad? I was telling people about it, genuinely excited for its release. I even shelled out money to the website that the movie would premiere on, promising behind the scenes looks into the 'Making Of'. I joined their video submission contest to see if it would get into the movie. Independent movies like this, especially horror, are what really give fans things that are new and original, so I am happy to support them.
And then I saw it.
Now, this follows the fact that a week before the movie was set to premiere on VOD, the whole idea was shaken up, and AMC Theaters bought the rights to show the movie in various cities around the country, mine included. Great! I went to the theater, and watched. Good God, I can't describe what happens next.
It's awful. Not just regular awful, God-awful. Not 'so bad it's good', this movie reaches levels of 'so bad, it's completely embarrassing'. That in and of itself is interesting, because this is the type of movie that is so bad, it actually is worth discussing, surpassing all bad movies before it, into something completely new. I would even consider having this sitting on my shelf to show people just how bad things can get in the movies. Have you ever been water-boarded? Just watch this movie. You want to put hot spikes into your eyes? Don't worry, this movie fills in as an equivalent, it'll do the trick!
The story is about a girl, Ashley, who goes off to college after her mother dies. She has a fractured relationship with her dad (of course), and afraid of making close friendships of any kind. She meets her roommate, Proxy (seriously, that's her name), and a weird subculture of hackers, including guys named Zane, Binder, and Flasher (seriously, those are their names). She learns of an urban legend of a killer named Smiley, who kills people over internet video chat rooms. Whenever someone chats with someone over the system, and says "I did it for the LULZ" three times (yea, seriously, it's really bad), Smiley will appear from behind them, and kill them on screen for that person to see. So, of course, the characters all do this throughout the movie, people die, Ashley gets worried, blah, blah, blah. This all leads to the end, where it is supposedly a huge twist, but turns out to be nothing more than a lame excuse to try and salvage this movie. I mean, did you read what I just described, because all of that is true. It's in the movie.
The offenders are writer/director Michael Gallagher and lead actress, Caitlin Gerard, who plays Ashley. I do give *some* credit to the original idea here. But that is where it stops. Gallagher should be kicked out of all writing and directing circles, and forced to film The Howling Part 8 or Child's Play 7 as his next feature, if he makes another one at all, only. That's it. I'm not sure he's capable of something better to be honest, and it's a shame, because there were some great ideas here, completely squandered away with the weakest of weak scripts, and pathetic film-making duties.
Of course, there's also the lead actress, Caitlin Gerard, who I most recently saw in a McDonald's commercial. That's right, she is such a good actress, she scored a spot in a silent McDonald's commercial, as a girl who plays horseshoes. I can't make this up folks, this might be the worst performance ever captured on film. She is not believable as a damsel in distress, she can't scream IN A HORROR MOVIE, hell, she can't even party or vomit right on film. If she is ever in another film, I think it would be OK for the film-makers to threaten the studio to quit before moving forward with her, even as an extra.
Are you still here? How could I have written so much about this thing? I'm telling you, this movie is new to the word, bad. Curious about this thing now? If you are a fan of horror, sure, give it a whirl, and see what never to do as a writer, director, actor, casting director, anything. This is a cautionary tale about what not to do. How they roped Keith David in, I will never understand, he deserves better than this. Enemies deserve better than this. Amazon should really allow 0 stars, because 1 is WAY too good for this. But if you are still inclined, watch at your own risk. It'll be the most fun you had since you squeezed lemon juice in your open wound, and cleaned it out with a wire brush.