When a videographer answers a Craigslist ad for a one-day job in a remote mountain town, he finds his client is not at all what he initially seems.
I was surprised, to say the least, to find that this movie starred comedy actor Mark Duplass (The League, Safety Not Guaranteed), and I was definitely nervous after seeing him in the huge waste of time that was The Lazarus Effect, but I’m happy to say that this one kind of works. It’s listed on IMDB as a horror/comedy, which might explain some of the movie. I was never positive if I was supposed to take it seriously or not. It’s one of those movies that isn’t dark enough to be a black comedy, or scary enough to be a horror movie, so it sits in this weird limbo.
Duplass is instantly recognizable as bad news, even though they drop larger hints that he might not be what he seems later on in the film, you already have a really good idea that this isn’t going to go well for our freelance cameraman hero, played by Patrick Brice who stars in the other film by this director, The Overnight (which I might have to check out now…).
Brice does an alright job, but there are so many moves his character makes that don’t make any sense, primarily, that he just refuses to call the police. Immediately. The fact that that wasn’t his first move is a really sharp reminder that this is just a movie and kind of takes me out of it. In the end of the film, Duplass says “Why didn’t you turn around?” which, out of context doesn’t make sense, but kind of sums up my problems with the actions of the characters.
The movie works, but mostly because Duplass is, sorry to be obvious, a real creep. Even though it’s quite obvious how sinister he’s going to turn out to be from moment one, he does a really good job giving you the creeps (heh), and carries the movie pretty well on his own.
Knowing that it’s also part comedy, one of the elements that I rolled my eyes at makes a bit more sense. Duplass’ character continually jumps out and scares Brice’s character (getting a hilarious scream out of him EVERY time) and it’s possible that’s supposed to be a joke, but after 3 times it’s a tired joke that keeps on going.
There’s really not much to complain about with this one, it’s a short movie and it offers a pretty satisfying eerie atmosphere as we start to learn a bit more about Duplass’ character. There’s also a really great lack of soundtrack, clearly someone has been taking notes that either the soundtrack has to be perfect, or absent to really build tension.
It’s not bad, just a quick little movie, and you could do a whole lot worse.