Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Member Movie Reviews
RD C. (allepaca) from TEMPE, AZ
Reviewed on 10/30/2009...
I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is one of the most intelligently written sc-fi/horror flix I've ever seen. There's a bit of subtle social satire buried between the lines, and a pretty fair amount of incidental humor as well... particularly in the early "party" sequence, which starts with every indication of just being another boring "yuppie tweens in trouble" yawner. Don't be fooled, though... that's just the set-up, and it really helps to pay attention to all the details (if only to try to keep all the names straight, later.) It doesn't take long before all hell suddenly breaks loose, and you are convincingly sucked into the chaos and panic of the emergency that ensues.
Not to be too much of a spoiler, but I particularly enjoyed the touch of having the film being represented as a "found" going-away party tape, which happened to accidentally erase most of an earlier, date movie made by one of the main characters... this really helps to flesh out the personalities and adds to what is a surprisingly deft character development for this type of film. (Hint--pay attention when the unerased parts of the "earlier video" peep through.)
I also appreciated the fact that when things really hit the fan, the viewer never knows much more about what's going on than the movie's characters. This really adds to the suspense, and draws you emotionally into their viewpoint, and the immediacy and confusion of their plight. Also helpful is the lack of a dramatic or trendy hit-laden film score. Though they may have lost in after-marketing, they gained in atmosphere, and realism.
One warning though-- if you didn't like the jerky hand-held camera and the you've-got-to do-some-thinking-to-know-what's-happening aspect of, say, the Blair Witch Project, then you won't like this flick either. Some people get downright queasy when the camera isn't balanced by those expensive studio gyros, y'know? And maybe also when they actually have to think things through, rather than just sitting & screaming at splattering blood and severed body parts.
To wrap up, I thoroughly enjoy this DVD-- It's a keeper. The story line is surprisingly well planned and executed, especially considering the relatively small budget. And the writers don't insult the viewer by "explaining" everything at a jr-high school level, as so many films do these days. The acting is actually quite good, for the most part (again, a pleasant surprise). The, um, "critters" are well conceived, well represented, and pretty damned convincing.
The only real complaint I've got with this film is minor, and probably directly due to the budget limitations-- there's a rather obvious inaccuracy regarding the size of the statue of liberty's head-- you'll know what I mean when you see it.