The Telling

Dir: Jeff Burr
Star: Rebekah Kochan, Bridget Marquardt, Holly Madison, Lola La Belle

Ok, so who directed this one? Wikipedia says Jeff Burr, the IMDB goes with "Nicholas Carpenter". Wouldn't be the first time Burr has ended up not being credited, so I'm going with him. However, probably even more inexplicable than "Who?" is "Why?". Memo to the makers. If you're going to film your movie at the Playboy mansion and stuff it full of playmates, of questionable acting quality - would it be too much to have some gratuitous nudity from the ladies concerned? It might help distract from the largely pedestrian nature of this anthology story, which has three sorority pledges ordered to tell a scary story to queen bitch Stephanie (Madison), a year to the day after a rejected pledge took her own life. The first has Kochan being threatened by a talking doll brought home by her boyfriend; the second has an actress (Marquardt) travelling to Europe to make a horror movie; the third has three girls stalked by a killer, after their prank call goes horribly wrong.

Seems the film was heavily featured on The Girls Next Door, a "reality" series about life at the Playboy mansion. We had no idea: it likely would have warned us off the film, which just doesn't have much reason to exist. There are occasional moments in the first story that kinda work - Kochan is, by some distance, the best actress present here, and the battle of wills between her and the doll is occasionally amusing. However, any air of excitement is sucked out with the efficiency of a vacuum-pump by the astonishingly-dull second part, which challenged my hold on consciousness with the relentless air of a chloroform bath. The final third is okay - forgettable, yet inoffensive - but by this stage, we'd worked out precisely where the wraparound was going, because the words "old family recipe" might as well have been a neon light in this area. The ending, when it came (entirely as expected), was more a relief than anything else.

[March 2010]

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