Let’s go back to 1999.
This time, we’ve got a little indie horror film about a couple of friends, Rachel and Jay, who are playing a potentially haunted computer game over video chat. Our two friends are reconnecting after Rachel had moved away some time before, and in wanting to find something to do they choose to play this game that another mutual friend may be playing at the same time.
We’re shown the movie primarily through three screens; our two friends and the game footage. The resolution seems quite crisp for 1999, but whatever. I can forgive the better video quality and load times, but there is a lingering question of why 1999 was chosen in the first place. I don’t see the rationale here as we have similar enough technology (cell phones, internet) to today. Further, Jay is familiar with videogames, so the novelty doesn’t seem to be the purpose.
Rachel is into “occult shit” as Jay constantly says (he isn’t the best character…), so why they are so easily creeped out by a videogame isn’t entirely clear, either. Rachel also seems really uncertain about a lot of horror elements, which goes against the vibe of her character.
Basically, we’re watching a YouTube Let’s Play made into a film.
The general feel of the film works, and here we have an indie film that seems to genuinely care about the horror genre and wants to add something to it. So, before any negatives, we should appreciate that there are micro-budget crews who don’t do these movies as pathetic cash grabs.
Props to the creators aside, we do have some pacing issues here. The film is about 70 minutes long, and probably could have been cropped by an additional 20. We have an issue with the characters telling us about themselves rather than showing us anything inherently compelling. The breadcrumbs of information we get don’t always add much (if anything) to the overall vibe or narrative and tend to suck the air out of the tension the film works to build.
The funny thing about this movie is that the game doesn’t look half bad! Our characters acting is uneven but generally works. It is about what you’d expect from a new film crew. I personally think horror fans are more used to uneven acting than other genre fans, but it is a little distracting.
The new trend of streaming horror (I don’t know what else to call it) has proven to be a bit more entertaining than I would have initially guessed. All of them in this new subgenre are suffering from a bit of drag in the narrative construction, but there is a tension that is hard to deny. I enjoyed this one enough to say I didn’t waste my money, but I am not sure if I would give it a full recommendation to watch.
An interesting project that doesn’t fully come together. Kind of craps out a bit at the end.
I’d wait for it to stream if you’re interesting.