Directed by Jonas Odenheimer
Distributed by Left Films
Available from Amazon UK
Small-time reporter Annie (Kolaric) and her plucky crew make the ever-so-standard horror movie mistake of holing up for the night in an abandoned school with a shady past, in Jonas Odenheimer’s slice of found footage banality, Classroom 6.
Let’s not beat around the bush and waste a whole lot of time here, as it wouldn’t be particularly untoward to assume that you know exactly where this review is going based solely on the opening paragraph.
Yes, Classroom 6 is almost exactly what you’d expect – a bunch of camera-waving goons walk around, sit about and do very little of anything worthwhile for almost an hour, until the requisite 15 minutes of screaming and falling over begins. The End.
Odenheimer’s effort is made all the more frustrating by the initial injection of a back-story that feels loaded with promise. The mystery of a dedicated schoolteacher and his number one student, who both disappeared off of the face of the planet in what appears to have been an occult experiment gone awry, is initially intriguing. Cue our local news crew determined to get to the bottom of it once and for all.
So far, so good, then… until all opportunities to dig into this constructed mythos are abandoned in favour of generic spooky movements, loud noises and confused people wandering hallways with their heads bowed. What witchery abounds in this accursed school? What breed of malicious entity has gripped these forsaken hallways? Is it the teacher, his student – perhaps both, their spirits twisted in the clutches of an almighty evil?
Nobody knows. And by the time Classroom 6 has wrapped up its entirely effortless, on-rails (albeit mercifully short at under 80 minutes) runtime, neither will you. What should be the crux of the tale – the core differentiator between this and countless other bargain-bin POV spook-shows – is thrown out almost as quickly as it’s introduced; nothing more than a slap-dash backdrop, of no ultimate consequence at all.
It could have been an abandoned orphanage, where a beloved children’s entertainer – whose favoured costume was a giant Snickers bar – disappeared with the birthday boy.
It could have been a derelict dairy processing plant, plagued by the memory of the mysterious disappearance of Farmer McKenzie and his favourite cow, Miriam.
These changes of backdrop would have been perfectly possible here, the only tweaks necessary being those in dialogue referring to the setting and the disappeared. Everything else would get by just fine as-is.
This almost total lack of interaction between the lore and the narrative is frustrating, if not insulting – a plug ‘n’ play grab-bag with no function other than to provide a reason for these people to enter a building, run around and drop their cameras.
Thankfully, the cast certainly aren’t the worst bunch to appear in such an outing, but their frustration with having nothing else to do but run around acting scared is obvious – leads Kolaric and McLaughlin, especially. These two are champing at the bit to get some real story developing around them, but the thing (very loosely) called a script that runs Classroom 6 simply doesn’t have time for such unnecessary formalities.
This slapdash attitude is no more apparent than when you take into consideration the alternate ending included on Left Films’ UK DVD – a sudden narrative turn that takes a detour down religious roads, busting the doors wide open on a solidly demonic presence at the centre of the whole affair. It offers much more meat than the ending that was ultimately settled upon, but was obviously excised because whilst it does widen that window, it does it all so suddenly and with such a lack of trailing threads throughout the rest of the film that it genuinely feels lifted from a different project and tacked on.
That’s how shoddily Classroom 6 attempts to tell its story. Simply put: Skip this lesson. There’s nothing of value to learn here.
Of note in the special features is one of director Odenheimer’s short films, entitled The Interview. It’s a nifty little piece – rough, sure, with some less than convincing fight choreography, but it offers a cool idea and solid construction. Other than that, we have some behind-the-scenes and interview footage alongside the trailer.
- The Interview (Short Film)
- Making of Classroom 6
- Interview with actress Valentina Kolaric
- Alternate Ending
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