on July 30, 2013
WARNING! SPOILERS WILL BE COMING!
How my ratings work:
5 - I loved it
4 - I really like it
3 - I like it/Worth a look
2 - Don't like it
1 - Hate it
I'll admit that when I first saw promotional material for this movie and a trailer, I thought "This couldn't bee too bad." Course the more I learned about the more it sounded totally moronic. Not helping is that after you really think about it, the killer has the face of an emoticon. OMG! EMOTICONS HAVE GAINED SENTIENCE! RUN!
The legend: There's an urban legend on the internet (which just sounds odd to begin with) that if you go onto a random chat room and type to someone "I DID IT FOR THE LULZ" three times (when I first read this I felt my brain was gonna pop from the stupid) and a guy named Smiley comes behind the LULZ victim with a knife and I'm sure you can guess what he does next. He's called Smiley because he sewed his eyes shut vertically (and must've had some large eyes or put more effort into slicing his eyes vertically and then sewing them shut) and carved a smile on his mouth. I guess he also somehow sanded off his nose and made his nostrils disappear. This must've looked too graphic for DVDs (but not posters), because on the cover it looks like he's wearing a sack with a smile put on it (which really isn't too bad and could've been creepy), and in the movie he appears to be wearing some sort of smiley face mask with a panty stocking over it (making it look more silly, but I guess the knife helps). Maybe if he wasn't an internet based killer it would be more effective, but horror based around the internet just come off really really stupid. First off, the chat roulette in the movie (called hide and go chat) is outdated by several years, and wouldn't most these days have sound as well?
Characters/plot: our main character is Ashley (played by an actress who's name you don't need to learn because I seriously doubt she's gonna have a career after this) who's just starting college. She rents a house with another college student named Proxy (good lord) and it's clear right away that Ashley has never interacted with another human being. She spouts dialogue that just makes you go "What is wrong with you?" Example: *Proxy invites her to a party* "Isn't in a school night? Oh ha, right, it's college I can do whatever I want! heh Yes, I except your invitation." or when Proxy hands her a joint "I think I'm high off your marijuana." Other characters include moron hacker Zane, moron computer nerd Binder (played by a youtube celebrity apparently...wow!), a dull as crud ethics teacher who just rambles on and on and says nothing and actually asks his students what a hypothesis is (funny, I thought that was something you learn in middle school).
Ashley and Proxy think it would be hilarious to try the LULZ legend on some random person and get shocked when the person dies. This of course can't be reported because it happened on the internet, therefore the cops wouldn't take it seriously (video evidence, what's that!?). As it turns out the cops don't, as the main cop (played by Keith David, who was also in the amazingly stupid internet based horror film Chain Letter and deserves SOOOOOO much better! The dude was Goliath on Gargoyles for God sake!) says they need a body or for her to know said victims (because people only report deaths of people they know, never strangers).
Technical goofs: This movie is filled with so many continuity errors that it's just sad. And anyone who says "It's a low budget horror film!" that isn't a valid excuse! There are plenty of low budget horror films that still looked good (which this movie does look ok) and kept decent continuity.
1. The opening kill girl hears about the urban legend from a girl she's baby sitting. Later at home, she goes to a random chat room and some dude with glasses who just loops with his eyebrow arching types it out to her. However, it first shows the screen as her typing it (indicated by YOU), but then shows STRANGER writing it.
2. We see said eyebrow looping dude at the party Ashley and Proxy go to, and we see him performing the LULZ and constantly see him looking at his friends and his "video" is still of him eyebrow looping or the video isn't on there at all (keen eyes will notice he doesn't even have a cam, built in or otherwise).
3. There's a scene where Ashley freaks out and smashes her laptop and someone films it and puts it on youtube (I can't make this up, if I could I'd have written and sold it for a quick buck). When talking to the cops, they show her the video. And you can clearly see the edit option above the video! COME ON! Would it have really been so hard to have them open the video in a different link that didn't feature that? Internet reviewers have better continuity and they have even less of a budget!
JUMP SCARES!: Every modern horror films has to have one. Not just a jump scare, but it also has to have that noise of someone banging on what sounds like a metal pan or something. Who needs atmosphere and mood? Let's just catch some people off guard with LOUD NOISES! There is a scene where I DID IT FOR THE LULZ! is painted on a wall in blood!
The ending (I gave a spoiler warning at the start, you have no right to be upset by this): Turns out that Proxy and her friends were all messing with Ashley to drive her insane, and it causes her to jump out a window (a really bad CGI window) fall on her head and kill her). They all see this as a win for Anonymous (the online hacking group for those that don't know; Apparently they like to cause people mental grief and kill people) and even the opening kill girl was in on it. NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE! The opening kill girl was all spooked out in her house, plus she heard about the legend from the girl she was babysitting. The chat room thing is random, you have no way of knowing who you're going to chat with and therefore can't set up a fake kill or real kill. Ashley encounters Smiley in a chat room, meaning someone had to be sitting there for most likely days in hopes that she eventually came across him. This whole thing also had to rely on the cops being total morons who wouldn't take her seriously. Then there's the scene where she accidently shoots Binder, who was actually rigged with a squib and she had a fake gun that was placed at Zane's house, where she went to check on him. She could've easily gotten ahold of a real gun, or not even shot Binder and just let him in the house, which would've messed with their plan. And everyone in the group finds it awesome that Ashley was killed; apparently internet geeks are sociopaths. There was no reason for them to be messing with her! Well, other than the fact that they were bored I guess and figured "Hey, let's prank on this doofy girl! FOR THE LULZ!" Proxy via webcam finds it awesome as well, but later questions if they're bad people (OF COURSE NOT! You only messed with a girls psyche and caused her to die!) and Zane jokingly types in LULZ and Proxy gets killed by the real Smiley! DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUN!
Everyone in this movie is awful! The acting is either really bad or just really bland. Once Proxy gets all nervous about Smiley, she starts showing up randomly to Ashley in an attempt to JUMP SCARE her and act crazy. The ethics teacher is so droning and bland, and his scenes are pointless and add nothing to the movie! Keith David I suppose isn't too bad, but it's not like he's in the movie long enough to make any impact. And the lead playing Ashley! MY GOD! SHE IS SOOOOOOOO BAD! She is one of the most awkward leads I've ever seen. Did the director not see her audition first? Did he really think "Oh yeah, she's a natural." The direction isn't too bad, but the script (co-written by the director) is just incredibly stupid. What is with modern horror films making most of the main characters either bland or just so obnoxious and or jerky that we have no reason to give a crap what happens to them? A good horror film will set up some character development and make them a little sympathetic before killing them off (like John Carpenter's Halloween or Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street). This is also a tame horror film for a modern day slasher. I'm not saying gore would make it better, but at least there'd be some entertainment from the killer being over the top in his killings. But no, he just stabs people (sure, that's mostly what Michael Meyers did, but again there was mood set and had presence). That's actually another thing, Smiley isn't really in the movie much. He's mentioned a lot, but he's not around much and there aren't many kills. Again, doesn't have to be a blood bath, but most super natural killers make a show of it. Even Chain Letter had OTT gore. That didn't make it good by any means, but it was still something.
So yeah, this movie sucks. I know I rambled, but I wanted to blow off steam on how bad it was. And if this review keeps people from seeing it, then I feel I've done my job.