Thus far in this series, at least to my memory, I've attempted to promote movies that I thought we were really well done; or at least worth seeing.
This movie sucked. God damn. I waited for 90 minutes for this film to develop into anything at all; but they couldn't give the viewers even that. And I was genuinely excited to see Josh Peck play a "serious" role.
So, as has been my habit with these lately, I'll try to say as much as I can about the film before getting into spoilers. Corey (Josh Peck) works at a financial firm with his buddy David; played by Brian Geraghty - a.k.a. one of those actors who looks just like all those other actors (sorry Brian). David's got a big crush on a co-worker, Emily(Alice Eve). There's a company party, and David awkwardly works his way into giving the object of his affection a ride home. Corey, however, being that kind of friend, insists on getting dropped off by David anyway, refusing to take a cab.
The three are driving along(hammered it seems, by the way) and Corey really needs to get pizza before getting dropped off. The pizza place, of course, only takes cash; and it's the only place open. At this point, I'm really confused as to where they are supposed to live because in my experience it's rare that the cash-only pizza joint is the only place open after midnight and there seems to be no ATM nearby, public transportation, or people around in general. Overall, the setting is very poorly done.
Whatever. So yeah, they go to an ATM. By this point, they've lost two of their three phones. David parks far away from the ATM booth to make his friend walk. Then, he gets motioned to come join him inside the booth; because Corey doesn't have money or his card isn't working or something. Then, just to really set them up for failure, Emily decides she can't wait in the car outside an ATM booth alone for a few minutes and leaves the car to walk to the booth. She takes the keys and attempts to lock the car, but the remote lock button isn't working; and since that is the only way to lock a car she is apparently aware of, she gets extremely frustrated and leaves it as is.
All of these seem like pretty normal events, but when you watch the movie, it's kind of all a face-palm situation. It was just too much. At this point they're all inside the ATM booth, and as they go to leave.. THERE'S A GUY IN THE PARKING LOT. And everything goes to hell.
So now it's spoilers time. But I will say this; just keep reading. I don't want to tell anyone to go watch this movie as I think you'll probably feel cheated of your hour and a half. There are no spoilers here; just a bad, bad movie. That is just my opinion, however, and if you disagree and wholeheartedly respect your opinion. But I disagree.
I'm actually laughing out loud right now thinking about this movie. Again, that's not to disrespect anyone who has a different opinion on the film. But I don't even know where to begin. This movie went absolutely nowhere. Like yeah, plenty of things happened, people died and stuff, but the whole time I was just waiting and thinking to myself "there's gotta be something to this". I held that hope until the very last scene when it was clear I was wrong; but I still avidly waited through that scene for something to happen.
Pretty much every decision made in the movie was far too lazy and typical. That goes for both the decisions made by our protagonists and the decisions of the writers/directors. I would want to give it some credit/benefit of the doubt in thinking that maybe this was an independent debut film from some new filmmaker or actors. But no, not with that cast.
So, there's a guy in a big fur coat waiting outside the ATM booth. They attempt to make him look intimidating; but fall far short of that. The viewers mainly get to see the killer's silhouette stand in one place, hands awkwardly at his sides, and occasionally scuffle around in a really humorous way. To be fair, it's probably somewhat accurate to how you would most comfortably move in that attire; however, it has a really laughable affect that does not fit in to the terror they are trying to create.
Our protagonists first see the killer just standing out there, as I said before. And he's pretty far away. But they stop dead in their tracks as soon as they turn around and all feebly try to stop each other from opening the door. Again; probably somewhat realistic interactions; but so out of place with trying to create fear. It also could have had a lot to do with the casting; it's kind of hard to take the three of them seriously together. Josh Peck actually does by far the best job of playing a real person. And yes, I am talking about Josh from Drake and Josh. by the way, there's also an older film where Peck plays a no-nonsense pot dealer. It's hilarious
As they're trying to figure out this guy's intentions(without much attempt of communicating with him), and more so fighting with each other(it's just too fucking awkward), a guy randomly shows up with his dog. It really doesn't make any sense as to where the guy came from; it seems he had kind of just appeared. Again, something that would be normal, had they just not dedicated the previous 5 minutes of the film to making it clear that the killer showing up in this parking lot on foot was completely out of the question. But this other guy; that was apparently a whole different situation.
So the killer scuffles up to the dog walker and kills him. He lets the dog go, which made me smile. I cry every time the dog dies in a slasher film, and I hate the fact it always happens. But also, what kind of dog is this? The dog just let his human get murdered, by hand, right in front of him. Then lies down on the guy, gently whimpers, and we don't see the dog for the rest of the film. That's not how dogs work
Now that guy's corpse is just laying in the parking lot. It's about 3-4 hours shy of sunset, and fairly cold(-4 degrees F; there's a digital read out the camera continually flashes to). The three have decided that they are going to stay in the booth and try to trigger alarms any way they can. Now, they do a pretty damn good job of knockin around those ATM machines and nothing happens; if that was realistic robbing an ATM would be no harder than shaking candy out of a vending machine.
They're REALLY concerned about freezing to death. They are fully dressed and inside a glass shelter, mind you; for a few hours. I don't know if that was poor writing or if they were just trying to portray logical flaws in the characters. Another point the dialogue revolves around constantly is that the security measure that normally requires you to insert your debit card to open the door of the booth is broken; i.e. the guy can just open the door whenever he wants.
BUT THAT NEVER ONCE BECOMES A THING. They spend literally half the movie talking about it, arguing about it, and it never becomes a factor; at all. The guy also has plenty of opportunities to look for a debit card to open the door if he wanted to. But no, the dialogue was literally just to throw you off.
Here's a big issue I have with the film. They constantly try to throw you off of what's going to happen; like there's going to be some sort of huge twist or something's gonna make sense. But it never does. They just make it a centerpoint of the film so that their plot at least gives the appearance of being more interesting.
Alright, so what else happens. A security guard shows up. Emily has written "HELP" in lipstick on the window of the booth in large letters; and the guard can clearly see it. Upon seeing the dog-walkers body, he begins to radio in, but is killed after a few words on the radio. Stupid -- those few words would have still gone through. Someone would have responded and asked him to repeat himself; and eventually would have checked things out. But nope. The writers didn't think of that. They just threw the radio call in there so he could be cut short. I imagine them in the studio talking to each other saying "what do security guards do?" Then Larry from across the room breaks the confused silence with "radios?" and they all got excited and tossed it in.
At one point David runs to his car but the wires are cut and the driver door jammed. He is injured and loses his jacket but he makes it back inside the booth. As they are arguing, a man dressed like the killer bursts through the door of the booth. We're made the believe he's the killer(although it's really early in the film, so it's pretty obvious he's not). So a struggle ensues and they kill the guy. It's made out to seem like this ~big tragic accident~ or something but again, there are too many flaws. One, the guy walking into the booth must have surely seen the giant HELP on the glass right in front of him, if not one of the bodies laying around. But the thing that really does it is that during the struggle, they really make him seem like the killer. Like at one point he's trying to gouge out David's eyes. In my experience, people don't immediately gravitate towards eye-gouging, mutilation, torture or murder when tackled.
So now we've got this new dead janitor guy in the booth. There's supposed to be this big "HOLY SHIT" moment when we see it wasn't the killer; but it's way too obvious beforehand. Fed up, Corey makes a run for it at some point and is taken out by a trip line; one that seemed to have appeared in the small time frame since the security guard without any evidence of the killer putting it up. As Corey is laying on the ground, the killer stabs him and leaves him, convinced he is dead. But as dead as he should be, he's not! And as the killer is fucking around out back, Emily and David run and drag him inside. They could have used the TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS SO MUCH BETTER.
The killer gets a snowmaking tube from the adjacent Christmas Tree place and starts flooding the booth through the vent. He parks David's car in front of the door so it can't be opened. Yet, as we see David realize this and try to open the door(before the water) the door still opens an inch or two; not enough for him to get out, yet surely enough to let water out. But nope, by the time the water comes in a few minutes later, the whole place is inexplicably sealed, somehow. Corey dies; I'll just throw that in here now because it's painfully obvious at this point if you're watching the film that there's no way he'll live. The other stupid part about this scene I'm just now realizing is how surprised the killer looked when he saw the Christmas Tree place; despite the final scene of the film showing how he had premeditated the whole thing right down to the Xmas tree place.
So they've finally gotten the bright idea to try to set off the sprinklers. Why this hadn't occurred to them before? No one knows! They find a lighter in Corey's jacket pocket(previously in the film he said he didn't have one; a lie that was never explained) and set some bank slips on fire in a trash can. The only way they can get the can right under the sprinkler is for Emily to stand on David's shoulders.
And it works! And it's this brief, glorious moment, before David's ankle gives out and Emily's head comes crashing down on one of those glass bank-slip counters and she dies. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME.
So yeah, David's the only one left alive. The killer had driven the security guard's car into David's car, thus breaking the glass of the booth. Corey had brought in a bottle of liquor earlier(should have probably mentioned it earlier) and David made a Molotov cocktail out of it. I also would like to mention how fucking soaked this lighter has been the entire time? Anyways, he hucks the cocktail at what he believes to be the killer sitting in a chair(as he had been doing previously; watching); but it turns out to actually be the security guard's body. This moment doesn't really have any emotional effect due to the way in which the scene plays out; other than us realizing(again) that it's not actually the killer.
Then the fucking cops show and shit gets really stupid. They arrest David as the killer just easily slides away. Of course, no one else survives so it's just left at "David gets arrested". After this point there was absolutely no dialogue; interrogation, court process; nothing. They simply leave the explanation of how David is framed to a very poorly put-together sequence of surveillance camera footage. The evidence that he could not have performed all of it is overwhelming, but the writers chose to ignore that and decided to leave anything of that nature out. Instead, after the stupid sequence of surveillance shots, we see the killer, still in his coat, go to his weird storage unit, and start ~planning another~. And then we cut to black to make everyone say "ooooooooooo"
Now, I really don't want to be a dick. Someone, I'm sure, tried on this movie. But, it couldn't have been a more half ass attempt. There is no way that, during the making of this film, someone involved didn't stand up say "hold up guys, shouldn't we have this film make sense?" I refuse to believe that with that many experienced people being involved that they did not realize all the blatant mistakes they were making.
I can see why I had never heard of this film until last night. It was really, really bad. I normally like to share good films with you guys but this one was almost too bad not to talk about. If you get a kick out of watching really shitty horror films, then I'd say give it a watch. It does get painful at points though. If that doesn't seem funny to you do not watch this film. You will be wasting your time. That's all I got.
My rating: 3/10
it's just my opinion