Sweet Insanity

Dir: Daniel Hess
Star: Rebekah Hoyle, Mackenzie Firgens, David Fine, Rebekah Hoyle

Eight minutes. That's how long it took Chris to guess the "big twist" here. And once you've done that, this has nothing else to offer. It's a slasher film with minimal gore, and not even any gratuitous nudity, to liven things up; plus, the alleged "high-school students" are closer to retirement than graduation. Stacey (Isaacs) befriends new classmate Christina (Firgens), a dark, broody type. Stacey's life has static, in the shape of Ty, her on-off boyfriend, and matters come to a head when her parents go out of town. Somewhat unwillingly, her home becomes the setting for a party, where tensions grow and the body-count rises. Is the perpetrator the creepy next-door neighbour? The local park vagrant? Or is it closer to home? And why won't Christina come out of the upstairs room?

Unfortunately, the answer is largely, "Who cares?" As noted, this is bad, almost to the point of painful, with the most self-conscious dialogue I may ever have heard in a film. It is, frankly, difficult to see how this merited any form of release, since the performances, script, direction or (as noted) any more exploitative aspects do not merit a wider audience. It feels more like a vanity production, funded by a doting Mr. and Mrs. Hess for their son, and I note it was based on a short story co-written by the director. I can only assume it was when he was in seventh-grade. While there are faints signs talent might potentially be there for the future, if anyone involved in this ever becomes famous, they will likely not look back at it with much other than embarrassment.

[The film will be released in the US on June 27th, For more information, visit MTI's website.]

September 2006 post-script. I just walked into the living-room and found our teenage daughter, Emily, and her friend had rented this film on DVD. They thought it sucked, too - and that's saying something, given Emily firmly believes that Beerfest was the height of comedic genius... :-)

June 2006

Mad for it
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