Monday, July 18, 2016

#Horror (2015)

Number Rolled: 83
Movie Name/Year: #Horror (2015)
Tagline: Death is trending.
Genre: Horror
Length: 97 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Lowland Pictures, AST Studios
Producer: Amanda Carter, Ryan Alan Dearth, Urs Fischer, Erik Fleming, Catrin Hedstrom, Sydney Holland, Quentin Little, Jason Ludman, Seven McDonald, Jesse Ozeri, Brenna Perez, Oren Segal, Sylvia Sichel, Tara Subkoff, Brendan Walsh, Margaret Yen
Director: Tara Subkoff
Writer: Tara Subkoff
Actors: Chloe Sevigny, Timothy Hutton, Balthazar Getty, Stella Schnabel, Sadie Seelert, Haley Murphy, Bridget McGarry, Blue Lindeberg, Mina Sundwall, Emma Adler, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Lydia Hearst, Brenna Perez, Jessica Blank, Ted Christensen, Sadie Jensen-Blank, Natasha Lyonne, Taryn Manning, Mackenzie G. Mauro, Tara Subkoff

Blurb from Netflix: Privileged tweenaged bullies get a taste of real-life terror when their online antics lead to a sinister game of “slashtag.”

Selina’s Point of View:
What the fuck did I just watch?

I remember watching the trailer for this video and thinking it looked kind of interesting. It definitely looked like a well-known recipe, but it still seemed like something I’d want to see. What they advertised, however, was not what I got.

What I wound up watching was something reminiscent of Uwe Boll’s (Bloodrayne, Blubberella, Postal) version of House of the Dead (2003). Not script or action-wise. No. That would be forgivable. It was Uwe Boll-esk direction. If a director is going to emulate someone else in the field, it should never be Uwe Boll. Never.

I want to stress that the storyline for #Horror was actually relatively good. Unfortunately, Tara Subkoff (Tanner Hall, The Notorious Bettie Page, Undermind) did not do the best job on the script. As for the directing… well… I already touched on that.

Regardless of how I feel about this film, I want everyone to remember that this was Subkoff’s directorial and writing debut. Not everyone hits a homerun right off the bench. This film was not good, but she may learn from her mistakes in a way that the arrogant bullshit artist that is Boll, never could. I wish her luck in future endeavors and I hope time and experience will aid her in honing her art.

I don’t recommend this film or anything that has ever looked like it.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’ll be blunt. I didn’t really like this one very much. I do enjoy when social media and more modern cultural and technology clashes mix in with the horror genre, so I was crossing my fingers only to be disappointed.

I got pretty much what I expected from the clique of rich tween snobby girls and their slumber party antics. The deaths weren’t really original or surprising.

Mostly, as this movie was named with a hashtag, I was wanting to see more of how that tied in. Sure the girls’ involvement in social media is a big part of the plot, but it’s never made clear (at least that I could tell) how the ‘slashtag’ game fits in.

I have an inkling – but it’s all presented so spastically that it’s hard to follow. Flashes of brightly colored flashy images and boxes of text flying rapidly across the screen. If it was explained in all that – I was either too slow to catch it or my eyes are just too bad and I couldn’t read those text boxes.

Here was another case, as well, where an actor was rather underutilized. Balthazar Getty (The Tripper, Brothers and Sisters, The Judge) played the father of the girl whose home the ill-fated slumber party takes place in. I can’t wait to see what his involvement will be in the upcoming Twin Peaks (2017) series.

The art installations within the home were interesting, at least.

Another indie film powerhouse was on board with this project. ChloĆ« Sevigny (The Killing Room, Big Love, The Wait) did well as the self-involved and negligent mother.  Though, I really think that Timothy Hutton (Serious Moonlight, Louder Than Words, Leverage) stole the show as the father of one of the characters.

I might watch this movie again just to see if I can read what I wasn’t able to catch before (pause button and frame by frame, maybe). Otherwise, I hold out hope that someone can give this sort of tale a different spin that makes a bit more sense.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 50%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 11%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 1/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score1/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 1/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

The Random Rating: R

P.S. This movie claims to be based on reality. What it is based on is an interview that Subkoff had with one of her daughter’s friends that had been severely cyberbullied. That said, it’s clear that the story was at least loosely inspired by that interview.

Movie Trailer: 

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