Monday night was a pretty awesome night for me on the Found Footage front. Not only did I stumble upon the awesome Always Watching, I also came across the iPhone movie Hooked up ( illegal, advert-ridden film sites – you’ve got to love ’em! ).
Hooked up is probably the first cell phone horror movie I’ve covered on this site so I didn’t really know what to expect. I had heard murmurings about it a couple of years back but then it just seemed to disappear…
Did it disappear for a reason?
The Cell Phone Horror Movie
I’m not going to be to harsh with this film as I did enjoy large portions of it. Unfortunately the suspense and the scare factor was ruined a little by two common Found Footage flaws:
- Shaky camera syndrome
- Unrealistic shot syndrome
The film was pretty good overall but man – did I have a headache at the end of it! If you thought a camcorder being run through a forest was bad on the brain you should try an iPhone through a dark house!
I’m afraid cell phones are just much to mobile ( no pun intended ). Camcorders can cause a certain amount of nausea in these films but they are WAY overtaken by a cell phone video.
The second point is the ‘unrealistic shot syndrome’. Now we all know that Found Footage needs a certain amount of unrealistic camera pointing to survive – that’s just part of the recipe I’m afraid.
But all through this film I kept on asking myself ‘why the hell is he pointing the camera at this – RUN you freaking idiot!’.
Sure, they go along with the ‘light on the phone’ route but this tends to grow a little thin in certain places.
Anyway, that’s just my initial feelings about the movie. It’s actually not that bad overall so try not to be put off so early on in the review 🙂
The film focuses on two friends – Peter ( Stephen Ohl ) and Tonio ( Jonah Ehrenreich ). Now Peter has had a pretty rough time of things and is nursing a broken heart ( his bird dumped him! ).
Tonio decides to help his broken mate out and books a lad’s trip to the awesome Barcelona.
Upon arriving in Barcelona, the film consists of several minutes of ‘booze and birds’ until the boys meet Noemi ( Julia Molins ) and Katia ( Natascha Wiese ). The two girls seem pretty much ‘up for it’ so the boys willingly agree to go home with them.
They end up at Katia’s grandfather’s house and the horror ( and the nudity! ) follows soon after…
Strength of Character
I covered the most obvious flaws in this movie earlier on in this review but I also had a bit of a problem with one of the characters. Now, it was either down to excellent acting or a guy I just didn’t like – I can’t make my mind up which!
The character of Tonio would be known as a ‘complete wanker’ in my country. I found it hard to feel any sort of sympathy for him throughout the film.
The thought of him getting lucky with a girl sort of made my stomach turn as well – he’s the type of character you wouldn’t trust to babysit your kids!
I seemed to find it a lot easier to stomach Peter but even he went overboard with his ‘I miss my girlfriend’ mentality.
When you don’t feel much emotion towards the characters it’s really hard to get scared or frightened for them. I felt absolutely nothing for the character of Tonio and looked forward to his imminent demise!
There is a lot of crap out there at the moment but I wouldn’t put this offering into the same category. Whilst some elements stank other elements were quite good.
The plot traveled along at a breakneck speed and the film managed to avoid any boring periods with relative ease.
The acting was fine but the characters were largely unlikable – this is a problem for ANY Found Footage film. In my book they got what they deserved which probably isn’t the desired effect the director was looking for.
I was also a little pissed off with the first scene that involved Peter vomiting into a toilet between conversation. This went on for far to long and centered on the ‘vomit around the rim’ a little to closely for my liking.
It’s certainly better than a lot of offerings out there at the moment but it could of been a great deal better with a little more thought here and there…