Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.5. USA, 2014. Legendary Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Brothers Dowdle Productions. Screenplay by John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle. Cinematography by Leo Hinstin. Produced by Patrick Aiello, Drew Dowdle, Jon Jashni, Thomas Tull. Music by Keefus Ciancia. Production Design by Louise Marzaroli. Costume Design by Annie Bloom. Film Editing by Elliot Greenberg.
Here’s a textbook example of why the Found Footage genre really needs to give it a rest; one movie as good as REC does not mean everybody gets a go at it, and at this point it is no longer a creative way to present horror by seeing it from the point of view of personal video cameras. Add to that the distinctly untalented camera operators whose jerky filming makes for queasy viewing (as someone who can proudly say he never gets motion sickness from handheld photography, not even Leviathan, I had a splitting headache after ten minutes) and you have a movie that should be avoided unless you’re hoping to break up with the person you see it with. It begins with a girl who, in her mid-twenties, has two PhD’s and a Master’s (which tells you how intelligent the writing will be from here on in) and is looking for the magical Philosopher’s Stone, that which turns metals into gold, and which obsessed her father to the point of insanity. After finding an archaeological relic in Iran that contains important clues, doing so while barely outrunning bullets and bombs, she arrives in Paris where she learns that the item she is looking for is somewhere in the city’s catacombs. Assembling a crew of obnoxiously confident young people, their aggravatingly contrived personalities about as nauseating as the camera movements, she heads down below and finds natural peril and maybe something more. Who gives a shit, bury this movie down there with the rest of these morons.