Starring Parry Glasspool, Lucy-Jane Quinlan, Lydia Orange
Directed by Warren Dudley
What better way to address the ever-growing problem of cyberbullying than to have it as a plot sidebar in a horror film? Added to which, this particular film is presented in a way that has turned thousand of stomachs – not with its gore or subject matter, but with its amusement-park like motion of visual display: found footage, or first-person POV. Let’s all pop some anti-nausea pills and prepare to enter The Cutting Room.
From director Warren Dudley (double duty as the film’s writer) comes the story of three students who are looking for a research topic in their media studies class, and after much deliberation, it’s agreed that cyberbullying is a worthwhile subject to hone their collaborative efforts upon. As one of their own fellow students has supposedly disappeared thanks to some heartless internet tormentors, the trio of Raz (Glasspool); his girlfriend, Charlie (Quinlan); and their close friend Jess (Lydia Orange) hit the road to speak to the missing girl’s parents.
As the three students search for clues, we the audience are treated (sarcasm) to an endless array of mind-numbing interviews and far-fetched instances. All of the aforementioned takes a turn towards the cliched frame of found footage horror when the kids find themselves somewhere they shouldn’t be, stuck in a blackened labyrinth-like series of tunnels and dead ends, all the while being stalked by some kook in a mask. Simplistic, carbon-copy, and ultimately BORING.
Now, while the end result might be looked upon as stagnant and uninspiring, I do have to give a couple of positive points in Dudley’s defense when it comes to the claustrophobic feel you get when watching these three fools stumble around in the dark, and there are a couple of seriously creepy scares during the middle of the cat and mouse game; however, it’s just not enough to pull this one out of the hole it had already dug for itself early on, despite a rather gruesome conclusion.
My advice (which means NOTHING), which could only help to enhance the overall viewing experience: Kill all the lights in your house, and sit there with a very tiny flashlight… then slowly reach towards your DVD player… and hit the “stop” button before any further mistakes are made.