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Review: Seconds Apart

This was one of the features in the 2011 After Dark Horrorfest and I’ve just got round to watching it now. I tend to buy DVDs on a whim and often end up getting distracted and forgetting about them.

Seth (Gary Entin) and Jonah (Edmund Entin) Trimble are twin brothers born less than a minute apart. At a teenage party a group jocks blow their brains out in an oddly persistent game of Russsian Roulette, while Seth and Jonah hang out in background filming it. Detective Lampkin (Orlando Jones) senses something is really off about the scene especially the absence of any witnesses to the boys killing themselves in a house full of people partying. Seth and Jonah watch their video of the deaths eager to illicit an emotional reaction in themselves, some sign of feeling of empathy with their victims. They somehow caused the deaths as part of what they call The Project using their unspecified mental abilities. When they get ready for bed they perform their ablutions in perfect synchronicity, which really enhances their creepiness, especially when they go to sleep facing each other in the same bed.

Lampkin goes the Catholic school that the dead boys attended and tells the headmaster he wants to interview the pupils to see if any of them have any idea what happened at the party. He raises the possiblity that the deaths were not suicide and that they were made look that way to cover up murders. He interviews a girl, Katie who is very nervous and withdrawn. She says she’s glad the jocks are dead. Lampkin guesses at relationship gone bad with one of the dead boys which Katie confirms. She then mentions someone making a film and we get a flashback to Katie having sex with one of the boys in a lockerroom while Seth and Jonah stand beside them and record it on video. She seems unsure of what is happening and we get the impression that the scene is another part of the twins’ Project. I don’t know how much of that she told Lampkin but it seems to be this that put him onto Seth and Jonah’s trail.

Jonah meets new girl Eve (Samantha Droke) who insists on Jonah’s help to find her class. Lampkin interviews Seth about the deaths, deliberately keeping the twins apart to trap and split them and trap them in a lie. While he’s away Eve and Jonah chat together in the canteen. Lampkin tricks Seth into confirming the existence of the video. The boys appear in the headmaster Father Zinselmeyer’s (Marc Macaulay) office. Using their mental powers they force him to tell who spoke to Lampkin and after Zinselmeyer tells them about Katie Seth leaves the priest to kill himself.

Lampkin really has his work cut out for him trying to prove that the spate of suicides are actually psychic murders, an idea no-one takes seriously but he is aided by the split between the brothers caused by Jonah’s growing relationship with Eve

I enjoyed this film. It’s not brilliant or even particularly original but the story did keep me watching to see how it is resolved. The film does not make it clear what mental powers the boys possess but it does gradually reveal that they are very powerful telepaths and telekinetics. Although there is some gore it is minimal and necessary for the story and it good to see the use of old style effects. The Catholic high school setting seemed a lot more authenmtic to me than many other high schools in other films.

Rating 6/10

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Posted by on August 19, 2011 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Film Review: Prowl

 This was one of the films shown as part of the After Dark Horrorfest. It has a low-budget and a cast of mostly lesser known actors from British and US TV. The film is about Amber (Courtney Hope), a young woman desperate to break away from Famfield, the small town she grew up in, and mostly away from her alcoholic mother. She gets a chance to rent a flat in Chicago and so her friends decide to go with her for a crazy fun-filled road trip. Their van breaks down so they flag down a truck driver Bernard (Bruce Payne) who is talked into taking them in the back of his truck. Bernard might seem like nice guy but he’s being played by Bruce Payne so you just know something very bad is going to happen. Instead of taking them to Chicago the Bernard has taken them to a derelict slaughterhouse populated by creepy people with mouths full of razor-sharp teeth who pick them off one at time.

The group of friends are pretty believable interacting with each other and are only annoying in a realistic way though we really don’t get much of a chance to get to know most of them. This whole film centres on Amber, what she is going through, the choices she makes and what she discovers about herself and Courtney Hope does a fairly convincing job

The creatures were fairly well done. They were never identified by any name but they seem mostly like vampires. At first they seem very formidable crawling across walls and attacking at brutal super-speed. Bu t they were a bit under-used for most of the film. I’m not too sure about Veronica (Saxon Trainor) who seemed much more like a TV series character and only seemed to exist to explain the plot to the audience and henchman was barely more than stage dressing.

The pace in film is a bit up and down, starting with not much happening for a while then the action comes all at once a in rush of confusing fast cuts leaving the friends terrified and me a bit bewildered. After that the film drags a bit with scenes of listening in on important conversations and a lot of running and hiding and scenes shot with the dreaded shaky cam style. The film does recover a bit of pace towards the end for a neat little twist ending.

For all its faults I think it is worth watching. I can’t remember any significant nudity (booo!). There’s some gore but I didn’t find it excessive. One nice point I liked was the way the script avoids the cliché of mobile phones not working. It’s the little touches like that kept my interest to the end.

Rating  6/10

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1559033/

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2011 in Entertainment, Film

 

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