Twists in the wind

Fur­ther (ahem) ev­i­dence that there’s still life in found-footage flicks.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES - Re­view by AIDIL RUSLI en­ter­tain­ment@thes­

THE glut of “found footage” hor­ror films in the last few years may have led people to think that the end is nigh for the genre as there must surely be a limit to the sto­ries and an­gles that can be ex­ploredin the for­mat.

But trust the low-budget indies to keep com­ing up with in­ter­est­ing, and some­times even ex­cit­ing, new vari­a­tions on it ev­ery few months or so, as we can see from films like Af­flicted

‘I re­ally wish the idiots who lose all this found footage would use a freak­ing im­age sta­biliser for once.’ and Ti West’s quite glo­ri­ous The Sacra­ment.

Ev­i­dence, the lat­est film from Olatunde Osun­sanmi (who last di­rected The Fourth Kind, an­other piece of found-footage non­sense), can at the very least claim to have brought an­other in­no­va­tion to the genre by an­swer­ing one ques­tion that has no doubt been asked in­wardly by many: “What if we com­bine a bor­ing de­tec­tive story with a fun found-footage slasher film?”

That’s ex­actly how the in­gre­di­ents come to­gether be­cause the film starts out as a straight­for­ward de­tec­tive yarn, with the po­lice comb­ing a very grisly crime scene. There’s even some shock­ingly bad act­ing by Radha Mitchell ( Pitch Black, Melinda And Melinda) as De­tec­tive Burquez and scarcely bet­ter act­ing by True Blood’s Stephen Moyer as De­tec­tive Reese.

Thank heav­ens all that bad­ness doesn’t last very long as we’re im­me­di­ately thrust into the film’s main an­gle – the de­tec­tives have to sift through footage from cam­eras and smart­phones found at the scene of a mas­sacre to make sense of what ac­tu­ally hap­pened and who might be re­spon­si­ble.

If the char­ac­ters in the “bor- ing de­tec­tive story” are kind of laugh­ably bad, then pre­pare yourself for even more bouts of the gig­gles once you meet the “found-footage slasher film” bunch. in­clud­ing white trash weirdo Ka­t­rina (Dale Dickey), who has a mil­i­tary duf­fel bag stuffed with cash. As is the norm in any slasher film, they never make it to Las Ve­gas and are in­stead stranded at some sort of ser­vice sta­tion some­where in the mid­dle of the desert, with no mo­bile phone re­cep­tion (of course), and a killer on the loose.

And it’s from here on out that the real fun be­gins as scriptwriter John Swet­nam plants mul­ti­ple red her­rings and the seeds of mis­di­rec­tion, lit­er­ally bring­ing to life the phrase “ev­ery­one is a sus­pect”. I chal­lenge you to not snig­ger at the sheer goofi­ness of it all as the de­tec­tives sud­denly find them­selves faced with: a bus driver with a rap sheet; the above­men­tioned weirdo who hap­pens to have a bag full of cash; the com­i­cally an­gry boyfriend whose mar­riage pro­posal was re­jected; and of course the guy whose cash is in that bag, re­vealed to be a war vet­eran with post trau­matic stress dis­or­der. And what’s up with as­pir­ing ac­tress Leann and her “doc­u­men­tar­ian” Rachel? Are they just friends, or are they lovers?

When you com­bine all the pos­si­ble mo­tives with a masked killer wield­ing a weld­ing torch as his/her weapon of choice, you know there’s a lot of fun ahead in both the guess­ing and gore stakes.

I’ll let you dis­cover the movie’s big M. Night Shya­malan-es­que twist for yourself, which more or less saves it and makes even the “bor­ing cop film” el­e­ment come to won­der­ful life to­wards the end, just for the kicks you’ll get see­ing how ev­ery­one’s been taken for a ride all this time. What­ever its flaws or gaps in logic may be, this is one very watch­able lit­tle flick.

Tough au­di­ence:

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