AMONG FRIENDS (2013)
It's that time again... Oh yes, I know you have eagerly been waiting to bask in the rage, and ranting, of yours truly Charles B. Boonsweet. Wish Granted Yo! Another worthy entry in the ever Popular CRAP! Segment. Films that I have suffered through so that you, my appreciated public, will not have to subject yourself needlessly in a blind desire to be entertained... Annnnnnnd Go.
Five minutes into this movie and I'm already worried. Then Kane Hodder shows up, and makes me giggle, and I'm all like - Maybe this flick has a chance yo! And then a guy falls down, and his friends proceed to (in what is suppose to be a so funny its bad way) say "have a nice trip" and "See you next fall".
And I was back to being worried. It is instantly obvious that writer/Star Alyssa Lobit, is one of those writers that thinks if you just bunch a bunch of young folks together and have them say stupid rude shite to each other... it makes them real, and you care about them... and its funny...
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Oh, and then one of them turns out to be trying to stop drinking... Wrong. I mean the writing is just bad, very bad, like jokes about smoking crack... and the obligatory "Who has the cocaine" question. I get it, the homage factor. They even go so far as to have the setup being a theme party; theme being - 1984 prom. So now they all get to dress and look, and apparently act like they're from the 80s. Get it, because cool horror movies happened in the 80s.
Ok, slow'er down Boony... the plot... like I said a bunch of friends gather for a night of dress up, hookups, boobs, and booze. The theme being the aforementioned 1984, and the twist, that its a murder mystery, trying to find out who the killer is. So um, it turns out there is actually a killer, and they will stumble over real, and fake clues, and have no idea they're in peril till... its.... too... late. Well, then things take, dare I say it, an unexpected twist... revealing the killer, and motives... and things get a little interesting... for about 38 seconds. Then its back to a bunch of badly written dialogue. And the remaining two thirds of the film. Which is a "You guys had this coming" angle.
So there... thats outta the way. Back to what's important... me... and my lovely thoughts that make the ladies goooooo -
|Wait, there's 48 minutes of this movie left?|
I wanted to like this movie. I wanted to love this movie, for one awesome reason - Danielle Harris. The little girl from the oft forgotten Halloween 4, and 5. Who grew up to be a wicked sexy B-movie scream queen. This is her first directing effort, and I was really excited to see her behind the camera. Ya know what, she's not half bad. Considering the budget there was some effort and skill here. The problem is in two parts - The acting is horrible. I understand this was a labour of love and she made it with friends, and friends of friends. But thats what you know, high school kids do... and that doesn't always work out well come oscar time... right. I mean the violence in particular... when it does happen... what the hell? You know anyone that gets an eyebrow cut off and you know... just lips off the villain, and hardly reacts.
Oh and how about a nail through the hand... and reacting like you were getting your blood drawn for the donation drive.
Alyssa Lobit as the menacing villain... tries so hard to be all kool McKiller, but fails... badly. Comes off like if Gossip Girl did a slasher special. (man my analogies are on fiiiiiire Yo!)
Jennifer Blanc... considering her work in THE VICTIM... has managed to strike out on bunts twice in a row. You like that analogy? I thought it got the point across. I haven't watched anything else with her in it, so maybe its just when she works with people shes close too, I dunno.
Next up, I wanna address all these reviews I saw saying this is a great independent homage to the glory days... K. People. We need to stop referencing the glory days. For two reasons, 1. The 80s were lightening in a bottle and people need to stop trying to imitate them. And 2. When you try to do it now, it rarely works. I mean really how many successes do you have there... Halloween, Laid to rest, Behind the mask, The Orphan Killer, Dale and Tucker vs evil... I mean its a short list.
|Danielle Harris. Boom goes the dynamite.|
Perhaps the biggest issue with an 80s homage is people rarely go for broke. I mean guts everywhere... gore... and teenage sex. Lots of that last one. I guess the problem making a movie with a bunch of friends is its hard to ask them to get naked. But combine that with amatuer makeup... a rather lacking in the gore department, where the hell is the homage? I mean I have seen some badly acted, low budget gold in my years of horror... and Miss Harris has been around enough of it (the hatchet series for example) SHE SHOULD KNOW BETTER!
Despite all this, maybe just maybe, it may have worked if you actually liked some of the characters. The most attractive blonde... who is stoned out of her mind for the movie had possibility, but alas she's just ruthless too. That's a major issue... they are all horrible people. Cheaters, rapists, cheaters, liars... Um, who am I suppose to root for.
There are a few moments in here I should call out. The trip out scene with the stoner thinking she's on set. Its a lot of fun, with some crazy cool homages... and I have no doubt DH played a big part in that scene. Even a nice cameo in there... its just so fun that it makes the rest of the movie that much paler in comparison. Assuming that was mostly Danielle's idea, then the question is where was that awesomeness for the rest of the flick?
So to recap.
Almost no violence.
No sex (well hot naked sex, and really, thats the only sex that matters!)
One really cool trip out scene.
Way below par acting... though again the high blonde - Brianne Davis (did the best with what she had)
The twist at the end is pointless because you care for no one involved be them victims, or supposed righteous. I mean ok you decide to screw over a few people... because of rape and stuff. But what about all your other friends? They had sex with someone in a relationship... so they should die?
I hate to do this ok. I have a movie crush on Danielle, and I love the horror scene... but there is no excuse for this. None. You cant blame the budget, there are too many better options coming out. Not masterpieces... but way frigging better. Danielle I wish you all the best in your directing future... but this is a bad film.
I can fix it in two minutes... all the drugs the stoned girl is on counteracting the paralysis drug, and she managed to get up, and fight... and well... make something interesting happen... I'm trying hard not to ruin everything here.
For whatever reason.
Oh and yes... in case you are wondering they left it open for a sequel.... YAY! YAaaaaaaaay!
movie scale 1 out of 5 stars
Horror Scale 1.5 out of 5 stars
Boonsweet is saying this could be a rough year for these here horror adventures Imma gunna go on....