aka AKA Name Goes Here (If Any)
77 min., 2008
Written by Christopher Denham
Directed by Christopher Denham
My rating: ★★★
It could have been so good.
* * *
So our movie begins with video of a family that has just moved out to a very forested area. We have the father David (Adrian Pasdar), mother Clare (Cady McClain), son Jack (Austin Williams) and daughter Emily (Amber Joy Williams). Now David is a Lutheran pastor and Clare is a psychologist, so the way that they view things are sometimes very different, but when it comes to their kids, they are always first. Now Clare has bought the camera for her work, but David can’t help but want to tape anything and everything. So as the months pass and we see the family and how they interact, the kids start to act really strange. They are doing odd things that are making David and Clare nervous and concerned. What will a Lutheran priest and a psychologist do when confronted with “evil” kids?
Now I’ve never been very impressed by Adrian Pasdar, but he is actually the best thing about this movie. He is really great at showing excitement and joy, but then he can turn around and show fear just as easily. Cady McClain also does a really good job with her role. Convincingly showing a caring parent and a terrified one with relative ease. The biggest surprise to me was the two kids. Amber Joy Williams and Austin Williams are both just great at showing their lack of emotions. They are deadpan throughout most of the movie (yep there are a few slipups but nothing that really hinders the movie) and when it was finally called for them to show some emotion, they had no problem at all.
There are actually very few effects in the movie, with most things taking place off camera and everything only being shown very briefly. What little there is, is actually pretty good. Now my biggest problem when it comes to the effects is the consistent use of the rewind/fast forward. It really takes you out of the feel of the movie and it seems that when they really wanted to push something home they decided to go down that route. Along those lines most of the “camera tricks” were just plain annoying, or extremely pointless.
Overall this movie isn’t all that good, but at the same time it isn’t really all that bad. The acting is really great, but to balance out the acting is the really bad use of pointless camera tricks. Now the story itself is actually pretty good, but the main problem is that there is no gradual change in how the kids act. Instead they are emotionless from the get go and you can already figure out exactly where the movie is heading. If they had the kids happy from the beginning and then over time they start to act strange, that would have worked ten times better, but the way that the movie unfolds really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Then at the end you have the two kids daring the “audience” to not look away from their movie until the end. Well you two fucking brats, I didn’t look away and there was nothing amazing to be seen. Talk about a let down.Have You Read...?