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The premise sounds interesting, with horrible teenagers getting a come-uppance of their previous actions, and their friends learning of all the horrible stuff they've done and hidden from them; ignoring the supernatural aspect of the instigator of these revelations being the spirit of a dead girl.
The problem comes that the Eight Deadly Words will be dropped by the viewer very fast. All of these teenagers are horrible people, so why should anyone care if they survive? In fact, I'm Rooting for the Empire. The best part of the movie is seeing these atrocious human beings dying.
Other problems include the buffering images and other aspects of messing with the screen. The idea of showing a movie only in video-format or as a chat is quite neat; it's a bit like a book telling all of its plot in e-mails, transcripts or letters. But here, the buffering images look really bad. And not in a scary way, but in a "This is really poor quality" way. It adds nothing to the plot or its atmosphere. Just reminds anyone old enough of the days when internet pages and videos did need to buffer before playing. Which does not work if one is supposed to feel close to these teenagers.
Outside of even those problems, the pacing of the movie is horrible. The beginning is boring, the attempt at getting away from the spirit by re-calling via Skype and such takes too long, and things don't improve.
I want this movie to be scrapped, rewritten, reshot, and remade. Take the premise, update it a little better, and make the characters likeable. At least then I'll feel bad that these 'friendships' are breaking, 'friends' betraying each other, and characters are ultimately dying because of their actions.
The concept could have made a quite enjoyable movie.
Instead, the viewer gets a slow plot and a cast completely made up of horrible excuses for human beings. Not only did I find myself saying the Eight Deadly Words early on, I quickly came to the point of view that the killer was improving humanity by getting rid of the six originally live characters.
Being above average age for this kind of movie, I also found myself wondering where in the hell any parents were. Six teens screaming their heads off, and not one of them had a parent show any interest in all the commotion? If their so-called parents were that hands-off, no wonder they turned out to be such amoral specimens.
I remember reading about the film here on TV Troupes and when I saw it on HBO, I decided "why not?" After watching it, I found it to be surprisingly enjoyable. Though I do have a few issues with it.
Overall, it's by no means an Oscar-worthy blockbuster, but still pretty fun to watch.
So I went to see this movie with a friend last night. Since there was an UBER LONG line outside, we arrived about five minutes in to the movie. Once we were sat down, we got the impression that we really didn't miss anything. So on with the movie.
A general synopsis: The film begins with a screen capture? Is that the word? Of a teenage girl's laptop. She browses the internet. Watches a video of an old friend's suicide. You know. Usual stuff. She then gets a Skype call from her boyfriend and they get cyber-frisky. They are joined by 3 of their friends and an unknown profile. This is where it gets interesting. Another of their friends is added to the chat and from their it's the horror movie you were promised. People die. Blah blah blah.
Anyway, in my opinion the beginning was pretty boring. But while it was boring it felt very real. All of the kids in the chat sounded like real teenagers having a real conversation. There was no fantastic dialogue but that made it better. Teenagers talking like teenagers. I didn't feel like it was poor writing at all. It was informed writing.
When the movie reached about the halfway mark I found myself hiding behind my bangs. It was genuinely scary. At least for a wuss like me. But while it was scary it was also kind of cheap. The whole movie felt like a compilation of cheap jump scares and a whole lot of building suspense.
The deaths themselves were somewhat creative. All of them, death by suicide. Suicide by possession.One of them stuck his hand in a blender, as seen in the trailer, and then slit his throat with it. Another stuck a curling rod in her own mouth.
While it was entertaining, I enjoyed it, a lot. And it was scary, I was hiding, a lot. and it sent quite a good message, cyberbullying=bad. It wasn't the best film of the year, and certainly not my new favourite horror movie (Scream 4 always). All in all it's a good time, entertaining, and all that jazz. But it's not AMAAAAZING.
The first 15-30 minutes of the movie was an exercise in tedium and it's unbearable.
The dialogue between Blaire and her boyfriend are cringe-inducing and seemed like it was ad-libbed by people who don't need to ad-libbing ("You're kinda sexy when you're violent." What.)
Until the 30 minute mark, it's just dumb teenagers saying dumb teenage shit and doing dumb teenage stuff.
It's clear that people involved in this movie had no idea how Skype works, because there are moments when Blaire moves from the Skype screen to check messages and the chat automatically mutes.
None of these characters are likable. None. All of them are assholes, back-stabbing, gossiping pieces of shit. There wasn't a redeeming quality to any of the characters, hence my hope that they all died by the end of the film. If we were to go by the characters words, Laura was like this before he died and it takes all sympathy out the window when you learn the 'victim' was like on of the bullies.
(Though it could be them trying to trash talk her after death, and if that's the case, see above statement.)
There's a moment where the ghost forces them to play Never Have I Ever, and the character start to argue about the dumbest shit and it really made me wish I could punch them.
There's a moment where the ghost flat out tells them what they have to do to live and they couldn't even do that right.
Really with the gimmick (the whole movie taking place through Skype) is about the only thing this movie has going for it. And even that doesn't work for it. You could easily replace Skype with a phone, a tv, or Ouija board and have the same generic horror movie.
I honestly feel like this would be better as a short 30 minute movie, then as a 85 minute movie.
This film was far more clever than I ever thought it was going to be walking in. The use of social media in the film wasn't just a gimmick, but ties into the overall theme of the movie. Laura's life was ruined by a video that was plastered all over social media sites, and so she in turn uses those same sites to ruin the people who drove her to suicide. Like my favorite horror villains, Laura's got personality and a dark sense of humor and uses it well, digging into the characters with every post and forced confession. For some reason I really loved when she would hack into Blaire's music library to play humorously (if you're twisted like me, anyway) fitting music for the scenarios at hand.
The title of the film was what made me not want to see it at first, but after the film was done, it made sense. The theme of the movie is, essentially, how easily friendships can be destroyed. On social media sites, online friendships can be suddenly ended with nothing more than the press of a button. Like how Blaire destroyed her friendship with Laura as well as Laura's life in general by simply posting the video of her getting drunk and passing out, complete with a title telling Laura to kill herself. The majority of the movie is composed of a group of supposed friends ripping each other apart over lies and hidden betrayals that are gradually dragged out of each of them. The people that Laura considered to be her friends turned on her and drove her to kill herself and are shockingly callous about their roles in her death, so she turns them on each other to more or less drive them into killing each other and themselves.
Is this the next Silence of the Lambs or at the very least next big horror franchise? The first: no. The second: eh, probably not. But still well worth the time to watch. If you're willing to deal with the computer format, it's a fun watch. A dark sense of humor also helps.
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