Directed By: Olatunde Osunsanmi
Written By: John Swetnam
Starring: Caitlin Stasey, Stephen Moyer, Redha Mitchell, Torrey DeVitto, Nolan Gerard Funk, Harry Lennix, Svetlana Metkina, Albert Kuo, Dale Dickey
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Synopsis: Detectives hunt down a killer using video footage shot by the victims of a massacre at an abandoned truck stop.
Ironically, I just blasted a found footage film the other day, and here I am reviewing another one. This one, though, wasn't as bad. I found it on Netflix Streaming, checked the trailer and thought it looked decent enough to give it a watch. It's not 100 percent found footage. I'd say more 70%/30%, which, in my opinion, is a good thing...as I'm not much of a fan of the style.
We begin the movie in a unique way which is kind of hard to transfer into words. It shows the aftermath of a massacre: smoke, flames, body parts, investigators, in a still frame...however we're navigated through the scene via a digital fly through. Sadly, that would be one of the few high points of the movie for me. We are then taken to Detective Burquez (Redha Mitchell) who gives an awful press conference with acting that's lazy and not in the least believable. Detective Reese (Stephen Moyer) finds her and after a little spat, the two work together and view footage that was taken from different victims of the massacre, which for the most part wasn't necessary in my opinion as some of it was just garbage and redicilous. Convenience over necessity. The footage was taken Leanne (DeVitto), boyfriend Tyler (Funk) and friend Rachel (Stasey), who are headed to Vegas from Los Angeles via shuttle bus driven by mysterious Ben (Lennix). When confronted why the bus is on the outskirts, going the wrong way, Ben states its to make another pick up, which sounds unconvincing and STUPID. Then the bus crashes, just outside of the abandoned truckstop. Also on the bus is dancer Vicki (Metkina), magician Steven (Kuo), and a crazy lady with a lot of money (Dickey). Conveniently, Ben, Steven and the crazy cash lady all have footage too. Oh. And there is a torch weilding mad man who begins picking them off one by one. The killer was the only other cool part of the movie, using the torch to sever limbs and burn people alive.
The movie itself felt like an awful long crime drama tv show. Which would have been fine had it been for a half hour, but it sucked having to stretch it out over the length of a movie. I couldn't find any interest in the victims. Or any other character except for Stephen Moyers character for that matter, and even his performance was mediocre. The script didn't allow any of the actors to spread their wings, so it felt halfassed throughout. There's a twist at the end that is completely predictable if you give it somethought prior.
I wanted to like this. I had hopes, as Osunsanmi had directed The Fourth Kind, and I kind of liked that one. The concept sounded good, and the killer was neat. The method of killing was fresh, and could have made for an exciting movie But the story itself, weak script, lousy acting and the fact it was a sub par and unecessary entry into the found footage sub genre made this one DOA...
Should have left well enough alone after The Fourth Kind, Bro.