The Grey (2012)

The Grey (2012) is a fantastic wilderness survival film from director Joe Carnahan about a group of oil workers whose flight home to Anchorage crash-lands in the godless, frozen Alaskan wilderness, where the survivors are forced to fend off a pack of blood-thirsty wolves. The media campaign for this film had me (and most others) believe that it would be a slick B-movie; full of action and destruction, where the power of testosterone would be enough to conquer nature itself (star Liam Neeson is seen in the trailer taping a knife to one hand and several broken bottles to the other, just before fighting a huge wolf off with his bare hands). I was pleasantly surprised to discover that The Grey was much, much more than that.

As it turns out, The Grey is an extremely dark and hopeless story – a rarity in Hollywood – from the opening shot to the closing credits, The Grey is a meditation on death. In this film, as in reality, death comes to everyone for different reasons – sometimes peacefully, sometimes violently, but one thing is for sure – death comes to us all eventually. The important thing is what we live for before we die – and this is where The Grey really flourishes, as it also turns out to be a pretty fantastic ensemble character study – another rarity. Ottway (Liam Neeson) is undeniably the main character, but each one of his fellow survivors are carefully developed and given a unique sense of purpose and camaraderie in the film. The acting was wonderful all around and I really got the sense that every actor had a great understanding of their character, which made it difficult to let go each and every time a character bit the dust.

As for the horror elements, they are handled pretty admirably. There are a few jump-scares, which are usually considered to be the cheapest horror gimmick, but were used sparingly and effectively here. Most of all, once the wolves appear on screen for the first time, an overwhelming sense of suspense and dread looms thick in the atmosphere of the film for most of the running time, which I absolutely loved.

On the technical side of things, the wolves themselves were presented using a mix of trained animals, animatronic puppets, and CG to somewhat mixed results. These wolves happen to be bigger and meaner and scarier than any real animal could have been, so I understand why CG was necessary, and though it wasn’t the best animation I’ve seen, I actually thought the appearance of the wolves was very frightening. The cinematography, handled by Masanobu Takayanagi  was absolutely perfect. The Grey is one of the only winter films that actually made me feel cold just by looking at it. His cinematography was equally effective at enhancing the horror elements as well – what could be scarier than sitting by a campfire in the dark woods, and only being able to see the warm breath of dozens of killer wolves float above the horizon as they encircle you and your friends? Not much. The sound design was incredible too, with crunching ice and howling wolves surrounding the audience and building a wild, imposing atmosphere – this is a film that is really worth seeing in theaters. The score, composed by Ridley Scott regular Marc Streitenfeld, is used minimally, but does a wonderful job of accenting certain emotional scenes.

Overall, I loved The Grey, and feel that fans of similar dark ensemble thrillers such as John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) and Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) will feel the same. In fact, Ridley Scott served as a producer on The Grey, along with his brother Tony, and it may not be a coincidence that one character in the film wears a hat with the letters “WY” on it (could it be a reference to Weyland-Yutani, the evil mega-corporation from the Alien films?). All speculation aside, The Grey was an excellent film that managed to be uniquely dark, and yet tender, personal, terrifying, and touching all at once. Despite the fact that (without giving any spoilers away) the ending is a tad anti-climactic, I give The Grey a near-perfect 4.5/5.

The Wages of Fear (1953)

The Wages of Fear (1953) is easily one of the most thrilling films ever made. As an existential study, the film explores the disparity of power between the extremely wealthy and the hopelessly poor, and begs the question: “What stands between a hopelessly poor man and hope/freedom/wealth?” The answer may be fear itself. But fearlessness proves to be an equally dangerous quality. One thing’s for sure though, The Wages of Fear stands the test of time as one of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s finest and most fearless films.

This is a film where the main character  (Yves Montand) is despicably sexist, vaguely racist, disloyal, disrespectful, spiteful, violent and unkind – and the audience still ends up glued to the edge of their seats, fearing for his safety throughout the second half. The characters in this film are deeply flawed, yet fully fleshed, and will have you rooting for them despite how unlikable they behave.

The story follows several European ex-patriots  with shadowy, mysterious pasts, who find themselves stranded and penniless in a dusty, squalid South American oil town. Out of work, they are unable to afford to go home, or anywhere else for that matter. They spend their days pestering the owner of the local bar until an oil well explodes nearby, injuring and killing several locals, as well as providing an unusual opportunity for four men to turn their lives around. These four men are hired to drive two trucks, each carrying a half-ton of nitroglycerin, across 300 miles of bumpy dirt roads and winding cliffs, so that the oil company can blow out the fire burning up their oil well. Any man who survives the trip walks away with a check for $2,000 (over $16,000 today, if you adjust for inflation).

The ensuing ordeal is essentially an hour-long stretch of pure adrenaline and suspense where anything can happen. Impossible obstacles are plentiful, people show their true colors in shocking ways, and life and limb are quite literally put on the line in the name of hope. With one thrilling set piece after another, The Wages of Fear is  the granddaddy of all manly, high-speed action thrillers. It is a bit like History Channel’s Ice Road Truckers mixed with Speed, although it is a massive disservice to The Wages of Fear to even entertain those comparisons. This is the film that Michael Bay has been trying to make his entire career, and will fail repeatedly to do so. Neither art house nor popcorn blockbuster, yet somehow both, The Wages of Fear is a true masterpiece from its opening shot to its shocking ending. 5/5.

Troll Hunter (2010)

Troll Hunter (Trolljegeren) is a 2010 Norwegian horror-comedy film, made in the ever-popular “found footage” style that’s been making audience members nauseous since The Blair Witch Project. Troll Hunter actually has a pretty similar set-up to that infamous film, as we follow a group of enthusiastic young documentarians hoping to interview locals about bear poaching, and who wind up involved in something much, much bigger.

As for the film-making style, Troll Hunter doesn’t really offer much that hasn’t been seen countless times before. In fact, the use of the first-person “found footage” style actually serves to reveal the biggest weakness of Troll Hunter, which is its lack of character development. Use of the cinéma vérité style usually helps to build tension and suspense because we not only care about what happens to the characters, but we feel as if we ourselves are in the movie with them. Unfortunately for Troll Hunter, the documentarians never manage to be more than young and enthusiastic. We never learn more about them, as they are pretty much just used here as the audience’s window into the more interesting aspects of the film (i.e. the Troll Hunter himself, and of course, the trolls). I feel like the scary parts of Troll Hunter would have been a lot scarier and more engaging if these characters were fleshed out a bit more, but what we got was still plenty satisfying. Let us move on.

Troll Hunter does have one absolutely great character – the title character – played totally straight-faced by Otto Jespersen, who I’ve learned is quite a famous stand-up comedian in Norway. As Hans the Troll Hunter, Otto provides many of the film’s funniest scenes simply by sharing his knowledge of trolls so matter-of-factly, in opposition to the documentarians’ energetic skepticism. He is a master storyteller – reeling the audience in with his detailed accounts of the history, behavior, biologic variation, and curious habits of Norwegian trolls. By the end of the film, I really wanted to believe in the existence of trolls, and the film-makers made it easy to believe – even if just for an hour and a half.

This really was the greatest strength of Troll Hunter. As an American, I am not fully familiar with the Norwegian mythology regarding trolls (a non-issue which will inevitably be solved with an unnecessary American re-make of Troll Hunter) but writer/director André Øvredal does such a good job of relating what is in the myths, and what is “true” – adding to the mythology with his own “real world” details – which make the trolls in this film almost plausible, not to mention lovable (especially for their apparent dumb-as-dirt behavior).

The trolls themselves really are wonderfully designed – very whimsical and charming, despite their imposing size and nature. The CGI was fantastic, and the effects wizards brilliantly took full advantage of the mythology (they only come out at night) and the film-making style (many shots of the trolls utilize the green night-vision camera effect), to make the trolls look even more realistic. It must be understood that computer generated creatures always look more believable in shadowy scenarios than in daylight. This is the reason why the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, a film made in 1993, still look leagues better than more advanced CGI characters in movies 18 years later. Lighting is important, and Øvredal’s team certainly understood that.

Overall, despite being a bit slow at times, and regardless of the general lack of character development, Troll Hunter was really a delight to behold. The Norwegian forests and mountains were the perfect mystical backdrop for the trolls to live in (an aspect which hopefully won’t be lost in the re-make). The script was full of humorous dialogue and situations – especially the moronic methods used by the bureaucrats to hide the existence of trolls, which I don’t want to spoil, but it involves a pretty good Polish stereotype. The trolls were really fantastic, fully-fleshed monsters, and I only wish there was more of them in the film. I fully enjoyed being immersed in the world of Troll Hunter, and I highly recommend you see it as it was originally conceived, before it is remade for Americans who refuse to read subtitles. 4/5.

Oh, and if you’re still not convinced, there’s this:

I Saw The Devil (2010)

I Saw The Devil is a 2010 South Korean thriller which received an unbelievable amount of hype for three major reasons: first, it was directed by one of Korea’s finest action-thriller directors, Kim Jee-Woon (The Good, The Bad, The Weird; A Bittersweet Life). The last two reasons that fans were beside themselves with excitement for I Saw The Devil have to do with the cast. This movie marks the first time that two of Korea’s biggest lead actors – Choi Min-Sik (Oldboy) and Lee Byung-Hun (The Good, The Bad, The Weird; A Bittersweet Life) – have been in a film together, not to mention that they would literally be going toe-to-toe for nearly 2 1/2 hours on screen. I suppose it also didn’t hurt the hype machine for I Saw The Devil that it was initially banned from public theaters in Korea for delivering too highly on its promise of edgy, violent thrills. Nonetheless, despite all the rave reviews I read while it was on the festival circuit, I waited until I Saw The Devil made its way to Netflix’ “Watch Instantly” page to take the time to view and review it.

To summarize the plot without giving too much away, I Saw The Devil is a story about a sadistic serial killer (Choi Min-Sik) whose latest victim happens to be the daughter of the chief of police, and the fiancee of a secret agent (Lee Byung-Hun) whose taste for revenge brings out his inner sadist. Pretty simple.

As for my feelings, I cannot deny that this film was well cast and well directed (especially the action-heavy scenes, which Kim Jee-Woon excels at), but it was definitely not without it’s issues. For starters, I wish that they had taken some time, maybe even through flashbacks, to establish Byung-Hun’s character’s relationship with his fiancee before they rushed to kill her off. I felt that the audience was just sort of told that they loved each other and that her loss is significant, even though I felt almost nothing watching her die (and I’m totally not crazy – I promise). It doesn’t help that Lee Byung-Hun is just so damn stoic through 95% of the film, he’s practically an emotionless droid. I suppose it’s a good thing that Choi Min-Sik is extremely talented at playing over-the-top melodramatic characters, which helps to balance Byung-Hun’s very subtle, almost wooden dramatic performances (though on the rare occasion we see him emote, it never disappoints).

Although it is a minor gripe, I must bring up a laughably melodramatic scene early in the film, where the police force is looking for the body of the fiancee. You see none of the expected order or professionalism from the team – they literally stampede the crime scene as if it were a Rock concert and trip over one-another to get a look at a body part, which they then fumble and drop on the ground while trying to carry it off. It was almost as if this were the first murder to ever happen in Korean history, which I’m fairly certain was not the case.

Moving on, I also found myself scratching my head at how often other unrelated murderers and serial killers kept popping up in this movie. I suppose they had to make things more interesting to draw out the running time and introduce new elements of danger, but really – every other person that either of the main characters run into just happens to be a serial killer. Either that, or there is a whole network of serial killers buddying up all over Seoul, which psychologically, just doesn’t satisfy me. I guess I wouldn’t complain about it so much if it had actually helped to build the tension in the film, or if these other killers had actually done anything more besides distract from the main point, but alas that was not the case. They were dead ends script-wise, and with a running time over two hours, they could have easily been edited out entirely.

The most important thing for a film like this to be successful, is that it has to be thrilling – it has to build crazy amounts of tension, emotion, fear, pain, and excitement, and it has to work all these elements to a satisfying climax. I Saw The Devil was really only semi-successful in this mission. For me, up until about the last half-hour, the tension just wasn’t there the way it should have been. We don’t really get an emotional context for Byung-Hun’s revenge, like I said earlier, and there’s not really much context for Min-Sik’s murders either. I understand that as a serial killer, he does these awful things mostly out of habit and isn’t really driven by any sort of reason, but he just seems so indifferent most of the time that you wonder how long he’s been doing it – and why he hasn’t been caught already. The fact that Byung-Hun plays his part so straight and stoic is a problem too – we see him do more and more terrible things to Min-Sik, and we understand that he is becoming a monster, but we never see it on his face! If he weren’t such a machine – if he let that humanity show more often – we would feel a lot more tension, because a machine is hard to sympathize with. A machine is not risking much. We are led to forgive the actor for being so wooden when it is later revealed that the only way he could persist and continue to face off against the serial killer was by swallowing his emotions, but regardless of the fact that this is a valid excuse, his performance only managed to tone down the tension, which is not the intended effect, I’m sure.

All in all, regardless of how violent and disturbing they attempted to make  this film, I was somewhat underwhelmed and disappointed with I Saw The Devil. I wanted to be on the edge of my seat, but no matter how much action and violence was displayed before me, I was almost always on the edge of not caring. Lee Byung-Hun redeems himself in the end, and once Choi Min-Sik decides to care about what’s going on, and not just treat the film’s events as an unfortunate inconvenience, he pulls through with a really dynamic performance as well. The ending of the film packs a great punch, and involves one of the best death traps since Saw. Also, we are left with the sense that revenge is never a neat package that ends with one person getting what they deserve – its effects ripple outwards infinitely, which was communicated effectively here.

Given credit for great performances, a fantastic ending, and a capable eye behind the camera, I Saw The Devil does its best to overcome the mediocrity of its thrills, its poor pacing, and its excess of mis-placed villains, but when everything is weighed out, it falls shy of the hype. 3.5/5.

Hobo With A Shotgun (2011)

Hobo With A Shotgun is a Canadian exploitation film, based on a fake trailer made as part of a contest for Tarantino/Rodriguez’s 2007 Grindhouse project. Just as Robert Rodriguez’s own fake trailer for Machete went on to become a (fairly disappointing) full-length film, Hobo With A Shotgun has become a fully-fleshed (and then brutally de-fleshed) 86 minutes of wall-to-wall gore and obscenity.

Coming from director Jason Eisener, the same guy who brought us the fantastically over-the-top Treevenge, it is safe to assume that the aim here is to offend by any means necessary. Nothing is safe, and no line goes uncrossed. With that being said, I had a hell of a fun time watching this movie, but everyone might not feel the same, like for instance if you have no sense of humor (you’ve been warned!).

Plot-wise, just as the title suggests, this is a movie about a Hobo who owns a shotgun. Initially, the Hobo (Rutger Hauer!) is saving up money to buy a rusty old lawnmower, in order to follow his dream of owning a landscaping business. However, upon riding the rails into Hopetown/Scumtown/Fucktown (Halifax, Nova Scotia!) and seeing the awful state the place is in, the Hobo decides instead to purchase a shotgun and clean up the place, much to the delight of the audience.

Hobo With A Shotgun is a movie which relishes in the obscene and the outlandish, and is more than a little insane. Scumtown is running rampant with murderers, rapists, child-molesters, hookers, corrupt police, and even a team of demonic assassins known as The Plague. The head honcho of them all is The Drake, a fashionable lunatic with the personality of a circus ringleader who beheads anyone that disagrees with him. The Drake’s two sons Ivan and Slick, played here as an extreme take on the 80′s jock type of movie nemesis, wear Letterman jackets and sunglasses, ride a fancy Canadian sports car, powder their noses frequently, and publicly maim and murder anyone who looks at them sideways. This is what the Hobo is up against (not to mention his own insanity), and his only ally is a hooker with a heart of gold.

Overall, it was obvious that everyone involved in this film had a blast making it, and for the most part, I felt the same way about watching it. The performances are fun and campy, the cinematography is edgy and colorful in a way that would make Dario Argento happy, and the humor is very, very dark. As a huge fan of Peter Jackson’s early work, as well as the better Troma releases, the frequent and heavy use of splashy, borderline cartoonish gore brought a huge smile to my face. Everything is played for laughs here, but I was glad that it did not come off as too self-aware or ironic, and is played as more of an homage to ridiculous grindhouse cinema, rather than a parody of it.

The one thing that I was surprised to find rubbing me the wrong way was the gratuitous obscene language used by most of the scum, especially Ivan and Slick. Am I getting too old to appreciate foul language? I don’t think so. I guess I just felt that out of all the ploys to offend the audience – whether via violence, child-endangerment, misogyny, or a total lack of sympathy for any living thing – the foul language seemed to ware thin the fastest, and gave the sense that the filmmakers were much more immature than their other talents would suggest. At the same time, I suppose the idea was to make it easy to hate the villains, and their eye-roll-inducing immature dialogue indeed helped with that. I just felt that the movie could have been just as awesome and over-the-top without using quite as many curse words or sexually violent language.

At the end of the day, this is a minor drawback for a movie that otherwise tickled every cult cinema-loving bone in my body, delighted my eyes, and burned my soul. A more-than-solid 4/5.

Bridesmaids (2011)

Bridesmaids is the latest Judd Apatow-produced heartwarming variety of comedy film, and the first one to be led by an all-star female cast. I want to establish right out that my opinions of this film, positive or negative, were (hopefully) not influenced by the fact that this film happened to primarily star women and be written from their perspective. Due to a poor advertising campaign, and ultimately, a poor film culture when it comes to movies about women (especially comedies), men (and women too!) may go into this expecting to see the characters getting into catty fights, gushing over wedding gowns, and falling madly in love with mysterious foreign men. Don’t get me wrong – this film has all these things, but at the end of the day, Bridesmaids is a film about friendship, which is something we (hopefully) can all relate to, regardless of sex/gender.

In Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig stars as Annie, a down-on-her-luck cynic who attempts to hold onto the one positive, constant element of her hectic life – her lifelong friendship with Lilian, played by her one time SNL co-star Maya Rudolph. Lilian asks her to be the maid of honor in her upcoming wedding – a task which ultimately leads to the further unraveling of Annie’s sanity, often with humorous results.

The cast was generally fantastic in this movie, although I think the group of bridesmaids could have been pared down a bit without effecting almost anything. It seemed strange to me that, considering Annie and Lilian had been friends since childhood, Annie only meets the rest of the bridesmaids at the engagement party. These introductions are so brief, that I never really knew who The Office’s Ellie Kemper and Reno 911′s Wendi McLendon-Covey were supposed to  be, and their characters never really do much besides play within their usual character types (Ellie Kemper as the innocent, naive type, and Wendi McLendon-Covey as the sex-obsessed bad girl) in a couple of funny scenes which don’t affect the plot whatsoever.

Even Maya Rudolph’s character is almost completely undefined, but I suppose I can let it slide that in a movie called Bridesmaids, the bride herself doesn’t play as big a role as her bridesmaids. Other than that, the key characters in this film are Annie, her rich and too-perfect antagonist Helen (played by Rose Byrne, with just the right level of naivety as to the damage of her actions), the socially crude sister of the groom Megan (Melissa McCarthy, who stole absolutely every scene she was in), and Annie’s main love interest, Officer Rhodes, played by Chris O’Dowd – star of the brilliant British TV comedy The IT Crowd - who I was definitely happy to see in a mainstream American film like this.

The writing and acting in Bridesmaids was often laugh-out-loud funny, and managed to cater to fans of all varieties of humor: whether you like crude language and poop jokes, find yourself chuckling at awkward situations, or take pleasure in the absurd and unbelievable, there is something here for you. To be honest though, I almost wish they hadn’t tried to aim for such a broad audience, as it often feels like the work of a huge team of writers, rather than a focused comedic effort. Still, I cannot deny that it was definitely funny, and it was interesting to see which parts made different audience members laugh harder than others.

One of the most underwhelming things about this movie was the pacing of Annie’s character arc. For about the first hour and a half of the film, Annie falls deeper and deeper into despair, violating everyone around her as she does so. Then suddenly, she receives a pep talk from a somewhat unlikely person, and not only pulls herself together, but fixes just about everyone’s lives in the last twenty minutes. Overall, I felt her character arc (actually, she was really the only character that changed much at all) was handled a bit sloppily, and unfortunately it brought the film down a bit as a result.

I felt the ending itself was pretty weak, as I hoped to see at least a short epilogue after the wedding to show how the characters’ lives and relationships had ultimately been affected by the events of the movie, though I suppose it’s not too hard to figure this out on your own. I guess it just felt abrupt to me.

Overall, I’d say that as a comedy, Bridesmaids delivered laughs, which I suppose makes it a success. However, I’d have to disagree with anyone that feels this movie has reinvented the wheel, especially if they think so because it stars an ensemble cast of women. In this day and age, giving a movie like this such a huge pat on the back, just because it features women making fart jokes, is extremely patronizing. Although I suppose it is a good thing that a female ensemble comedy is getting as much attention as it is, it almost feels like a back-handed compliment. “Good job, girls! You can be funny! Here’s a pat on the head!”

I felt this movie would not have been nearly as talked-about if it had starred men. Don’t get me wrong, it is not bad at all, and is leagues better than any other comedy playing theaters right now, but I just felt it was “good-enough (for comedy, not for women),” rather than “great.” I hope with all my heart that this movie (despite not being terribly groundbreaking in my eyes) will open the door for other better female-led comedies, and films in general for that matter. I also hope we see a lot more from all the cast members of Bridesmaids, especially Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig.

All in all, it was a fun ride, and is worth at least a matinée ticket. Just try not to get too caught up in the hype, whether from the apologetic perspective that it is funnier than most “chick flicks” (shudder), or from the overly-defensive perspective either. 3.5/5.

The Tunnel (2011)

The Emergency Bell

The Tunnel is a new Australian entry in the ever-popular (for better or worse) “found footage” sub-genre of Horror movies. Like its predecessors The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, [Rec], and Cloverfield, The Tunnel uses what appears to be a mix of handheld camera (operated by the characters themselves), security camera, audio recordings, and in this case, even “documentary” interviews to piece together a fictional story in order to make it feel more real and personal.

Although this style of film making is almost over-used in the Horror genre these days, I for one am still a fan of it – I think it generally tends to be very effective, and when you imagine all the intentional work that is put into making the camera operation look unintentional (just watch the ‘making-of’ extras on Cloverfield for a superb example) you have to really admire the technique. Still, it is not for everyone.

What sets this movie apart from the rest is unfortunately not much, beyond the marketing technique. The Tunnel is somewhat “revolutionary” for being one of the first films (of my knowledge) to be released via internet torrents. The filmmakers are funding the release through the sale of individual frames from the film (also a first), as well as DVD “hard copies,” while the full movie is available for free, in any home with an internet connection.

As for the movie itself, The Tunnel has its share of strengths and weaknesses. On the plus side, the actors all offer fairly strong performances, and the abandoned subway (and sub-subway) tunnels offer the perfect creepy atmosphere for a blood-thirsty sub-human to call home. Unfortunately, due to a number of mis-steps and a general lack of any real surprises, that’s about where the pluses dry up, and where I must begin a semi-rant about the minuses.

Despite having a decent plot for a movie that really didn’t need one, the makers of The Tunnel spent entirely too much time explaining the plot to the audience (me!) and not enough time scaring them (me). As a matter of fact, by the time we have learned that the main characters are television journalists who are entering the tunnels to investigate why a promising city plan to build a water recycling plant suddenly ceased to be discussed, and why homeless tunnel residents have been disappearing, the film is literally half over. It took me only one run-on sentence; it took them 45 minutes.

Finally, half-way into the movie, the scary-ish stuff begins to happen. Someone disappears, and everyone else panics and runs around screaming and panting, and finding weird blood-stained rooms and discarded body parts (very reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project in many ways, almost to the point of re-hash). Eventually we get a few blurry shots of the blood-thirsty sub-human in question, who looks a bit like Rubber Johnny, and has a fetish for eyeballs.

There’s nothing really wrong with any of this really, except that pretty much all of the jump scares came at exactly the time I expected them to, and everything else about it felt like I’d seen it before. Incredibly, there’s somehow even more pacing issues, even after the first half was burned up on plot development. This is because unlike most “found footage” Horror films, The Tunnel chose to be a full-on mock-doc. Right when the tension is really building up, it cuts away to an interview with one of the survivors about how they regretted going down that one hallway, or how scary that moment was for them. This ruined the mood for me every time, and added literally nothing to the film, not to mention that featuring interviews with the survivors spoils the surprise of who ends up surviving in the end. Overall, this was a major factor that kept me from enjoying this movie as much as I could have under different circumstances, like if it were a better movie for instance.

Finally, although I think the marketing and distribution of this film was a really fresh, new idea (which will hopefully inspire more indie filmmakers to do the same), I can’t help but feel that it might have hurt this film in some ways, primarily for the fact that it might have been much scarier and more effective to view it in a traditional movie theater, rather than on my laptop. Still, you can’t go wrong with a movie that you are encouraged to download for free, although it really takes all the fun out of pirating. Overall, I have to give this one a disappointing 2.5/5.