Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Nicholas D'Agosto, Kevin Kilner, Leighton Meester, Cheryl White
Director: Jeff Mahler
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
The stars of Heroes and Gossip Girl in their most shocking roles ever. — Friends Alex (Nicholas D'Agosto, TV's Heroes) and Josie (Leighton Meester, TV's Gossip Girl) have a disturbing hobby. They like to follow strangers. O... more »
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Above Average Indie Psychological Thriller
R. Schultz | Chicago | 07/06/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Although there's more than a little bit of "Misery" in this movie, it offers some novel observations and characters.
The protagonist is a sensitive young man who likes to watch people - at work, through their windows, even as he gains access and hides inside their very homes. However, you might soon begin to suspect that this young man is not a typical peeping Tom. That phrase carries connotations of sexual predation, whereas this young man is motivated more by an intense authorial interest in observing the details of other people's lives. Rather than having fictional TV sit-com characters projected into his home, he has chosen to go out and project himself into the homes of real-life people. This is in and of itself an almost refreshing trait. It's something we rarely see in movies - someone who's not comically self-absorbed, but who's actually interested in OTHER people.
Then this movie turns the tables in others ways. We begin to fear that the young man, who might ordinarily be considered a dangerous stalker, is actually the one in danger here. He enters and is caught in the home of one couple grieving over the loss of their son. At first, it appears this couple will make just a brief, benign connection with the young man who looks so uncannily like their lost son. But then things begin to turn dark. And the descent into madness starts. The principal actors are well cast for the parts they play in this derangement.
The Director's commentary is a little flat, and unless you have a lot of extra time, you can probably skip it. The movie stands chillingly on its own."
litefoot | CA, south | 08/09/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Quite unsettling for a budget film. Makes an effective transition from odd to seriously creepy. The couple's macro-dysfunction is believable and drives the suspense: grief can fragment beyond repair. Economy of blood and violence works for this tale; the film leaves you thinking. Recommended."
Lifetime Original Movie material.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 01/16/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Inside (Jeff Mahler, 2006)
This was one of those cases of marketing gone horribly, horribly wrong. I originally heard this was a psychological horror film. Well, I guess you can call it that, if you turn your head and squint, but what it really is is a Lifetime Original Movie; there's not even anything to distinguish it from your basic made-for-TV flick. (For all I know, it is a Lifetime Original Movie.)
Alex (Heroes' Nicholas D'Agosto) is a bored library aide who gets his kicks by breaking into the houses of library patrons and spying on their lives with his friend Josie (Gossip Girl's Leighton Meester). One day, he breaks into the house of Alice and Mark Smith (respectively, An American Town's Cheryl White and The Coverup's Kevin Kilner), but when they discover him, their reaction is not at all what he expects; they exclaim that he's the spitting image of their dead child, and treat him like a member of the family. All well and good until they start insisting that he stay...
It might not have been so bad had it not been as painfully predictable as it is; I've been wondering on and off if Mahler, who also wrote the screenplay, had watched the Korean film Acacia a few times just before writing this. (One of the big plot twists seems to be either an homage or a ripoff, depending on your point of view.) The acting is competent, at least, and the film is miles better than the 2007 French film of the same name (entirely unrelated save the title), but every time it gets a chance to dissolve into sappy silliness, it seizes the opportunity, and that gets annoying after, say, ten minutes. **